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BERNIER v. LARA (2021)

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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Rejeanne BERNIER; Hans S. Croteau, as individuals, and as members of a similarly situated class, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Ricardo LARA, in his capacity as California Insurance Commissioner; et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 20-55160

Decided: June 30, 2021

Before: SILVERMAN, WATFORD, and BENNETT, Circuit Judges. Rejeanne Bernier, Pro Se Hans S. Croteau, Pro Se Laura Robbins, Attorney, AGCA-Office of the California Attorney General, Los Angeles, CA, for Defendants-Appellees


Rejeanne Bernier and Hans S. Croteau appeal pro se from the district court's order dismissing their action for failure to comply with a vexatious litigant pre-filing order. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review for an abuse of discretion. In re Fillbach, 223 F.3d 1089, 1090-91 (9th Cir. 2000). We affirm.

The district court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing plaintiffs’ action because the complaint was within the scope of the pre-filing order and plaintiffs failed to comply with the pre-filing requirements. See Weissman v. Quail Lodge, Inc., 179 F.3d 1194, 1197 (9th Cir. 1999) (“District courts have the inherent power to file restrictive pre-filing orders against vexatious litigants with abusive and lengthy histories of litigation․ Such pre-filing orders may enjoin the litigant from filing further actions or papers unless he or she first meets certain requirements, such as obtaining leave of the court or filing declarations that support the merits of the case.”).

To the extent that plaintiffs seek to challenge the underlying pre-filing order, we do not consider their contentions because such a challenge is outside the scope of this appeal.

Plaintiffs’ motion to take judicial notice, and request set forth in the opening brief for reassignment to a different district court judge on remand, are denied.


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