Clearing the way for claims with merit

A recent article in the Orange County Register, "Clearing the Way for Claims with Merit,” reported that both CALA and consumer rights advocates agree that there is “abuse of the court system in California.”

One way to help stop the abuse is by curbing “vexatious litigants,” those people who continually file lawsuits without merit or harassing claims. The article cites a woman who recently filed 47 lawsuits against the City of Huntington Beach, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Another Register article, “Debate Heated on Frivolous Lawsuits,” highlights a woman who has filed 22 lawsuits since 2006, with the most recent filing in February 2010, and yet another man has filed 13 lawsuits in Orange County Superior Court against his neighbors and the Huntington Beach Police Department alleging harassment.

Now is the time to once again push the Legislature to pass balanced, common-sense reform to prohibit vexatious litigants from filing unwarranted lawsuits that cost jobs and clog up our courtrooms.

Legal reforms such as this would bring significant benefits to California. According to the Pacific Research Institute, one tort reform in California could create 141,000 jobs.

Stopping vexatious litigants is just one more way to revitalize California’s economy. It would free up valuable slots on courts’ schedules, which is more important than ever since our courts are facing $300 million in budget cuts. Cases that truly have merit must have their day in court.

We need more jobs, not more lawsuits.

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