The threat made by the appellant in this case was a clear abuse of the legal process, and I believe the circuit court was justified in entering orders prohibiting the
appellant from filing any additional paperwork in the case without legal representation.
Circuit judges have the authority to control and manage their dockets. To do so effectively,
judges must have wide discretion to place reasonable restrictions and limitations upon
litigants who file non-meritorious claims for malicious reasons, or otherwise abuse the
The majority has ignored the reality of frivolous litigation that is constantly being filed by prisoners across this State. In this instance, the appellant was so bold as to actually put his threat to flood the court with paperwork in writing. Instead of allowing circuit judges to curtail what are obviously frivolous filings, the majority has created an open invitation for more abuse of the legal process by jailhouse lawyers who have nothing better to do.
Finally, while I dissent from the majority's decision that the circuit court erred by limiting the appellant's right to self-representation, I concur with the majority's conclusion that the issues in the underlying case concerning the conditions of confinement and medical care were dismissed by the circuit court earlier and that the dismissal became final upon this Court's refusal to hear the appeal in 2003. Clearly, those issues could not be raised again in this appeal.
Therefore, for the reasons set forth above, I dissent, in part, and concur, in part, to the majority's decision in this case.