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Ringgold-Lockhart v. County of Los Angeles

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

August 4, 2014

JUSTIN RINGGOLD-LOCKHART; NINA RINGGOLD, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES; ANDREA SHERIDAN ORDIN, erroneously sued as Andrea Sheridan Orin, in her Official Capacity as County Counsel; JERRY BROWN, in his Official Capacity as Governor of the State of California; KAMALA HARRIS, in her Official Capacity as Attorney General of the State of California; JOHN A. CLARKE, in his Official and Administrative Capacity as Executive Officer of the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, Defendants-Appellees

Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California: December 2, 2013.

Page 1058

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1059

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:11-cv-01725-R-PLA. Manuel L. Real, District Judge, Presiding.

Civil Rights

The panel vacated the district court's order declaring plaintiffs, attorney Nina Ringgold and her son Justin Ringgold-Lockart, vexatious litigants and imposing a pre-filing order, and remanded for further proceedings.

The panel held that in light of the constitutional concerns such pre-filing orders implicate, the district court erred by relying in large part on Nina Ringgold's motions practice over the course of just two federal lawsuits, without considering less restrictive sanctions. The district court also erred by holding Nina Ringgold's state litigation against Justin Ringgold-Lockhart, without a record indicating that he participated in that litigation. Finally, the panel held that there was an insufficiently close fit between the terms of the injunction and the problem it purported to address.

Nina Ringgold (argued), Law Offices of Nina R. Ringgold, Northridge, California, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Marc Jesse Wodin (argued), Law Offices of Marc J. Wodin, Calabasas, California, for Defendants-Appellees County of Los Angeles and Andrea Sheridan Ordin.

David Adida (argued), Deputy State Attorney General, Office of the California Attorney General, Los Angeles, California, for Defendants-Appellees Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris.

Kevin Michael McCormick (argued), Benton, Orr, Duval & Buckingham, Ventura, California, for Defendant-Appellee John A. Clarke.

Before: Harry Pregerson, Marsha S. Berzon, and Morgan Christen, Circuit Judges.

OPINION


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