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Prisoner litigant's case deemed frivolous

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One of Indiana's most well-known pro se prisoner litigants continues to be a subject for the state's appellate courts.

In a memorandum decision today in Eric D. Smith v. William K. Wilson, et al., No 46A03-0808-CV-432, the court focused on whether LaPorte Superior Judge Paul Baldoni properly concluded that Smith's civil complaint against some Department of Correct employees was subject to summary dismissal under Indiana's "Frivolous Claim Law" for pro se prisoner litigants.

Smith alleged the DOC employees had wrongfully confiscated mail order items he'd bought, violated his freedom of religion rights by not delivering a Wiccan pentagram necklace he'd ordered, and that prison officials were retaliating against him for frequently filing lawsuits and successfully overturning the state's "Three Strikes Law" aimed at curtailing pro se prisoner litigation.

Convicted of arson in 2001, Smith is serving a 20-year sentence at the Westville Correctional Facility and has filed dozens of suits through the years. One of those, Eric D. Smith v. Indiana Department of Correction, et al., No. 49S02-0804-CV-166, resulted in the Indiana Supreme Court finding the four-year-old state statute unconstitutional because it effectively closed the door on some prisoners and their ability to file legitimate claims.

But this case was reviewed under the similar Frivolous Claim Law, and the appellate judges agreed that it was properly dismissed. The panel rejected Smith's claims in this suit because prison officials allowed him to receive part of an order, and that it would be illogical to believe those officials would have permitted him to receive part of it if they intended to retaliate against him.

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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