Bodhisattva SKANDHA v. COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER PURSUANT TO RULE 23.0
Bodhisattva Skandha, an inmate in the custody of the Department of Correction, appeals from a judgment dismissing his complaint, which he filed as purported “next friend” of Antonio M. Ferreira, a fellow inmate. Skandha is subject to an order, issued on August 3, 2020, in Skandha vs. Commonwealth, Norfolk Superior Court No. 2082CV00303, requiring prior judicial review of any complaint before acceptance for filing.2 Pursuant to that order, the judge dismissed Skandha's complaint on the ground that Skandha was not authorized “to assert causes of action on behalf of other persons.”
The judge did not abuse his discretion in dismissing the complaint. Because Skandha is not a member of the bar of this Commonwealth, he may not prosecute a legal proceeding on behalf of another person. See LAS Collection Mgmt. v. Pagan, 447 Mass. 847, 849-850 (2006). And although a judge may “appoint a next friend when it appears that an incompetent person is not adequately represented,” Judge Rotenberg Educ. Ctr., Inc. v. Commissioner of the Dep't of Mental Retardation (No. 4), 424 Mass. 476, 479 (1997), there is no indication in the record that Ferreira is incompetent. His affidavit states only that he has difficulty with English and has no understanding of the law. Furthermore, Skandha -- who, as the judge noted, has a history of vexatious litigation -- has failed to establish that he could adequately represent Ferreira's interests.3
2. Skandha is subject to a similar order in the Superior Court for Suffolk County. See Skandha v. Clerk of the Superior Court for Civ. Business in Suffolk County, 472 Mass. 1017, 1019 (2015).
3. Skandha has already filed several unsuccessful appeals from orders denying next friend status. See Skandha v. Commissioner of Correction, 99 Mass. App. Ct. 1131 (2021) (unpublished); Skandha v. Commonwealth, 98 Mass. App. Ct. 1113 (2020) (unpublished); Skandha v. Middlesex Superior Court, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 1113 (2020) (unpublished).
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