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Pre-filing injunction entered against ‘serial filer’

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 11, 2023

Pre-filing injunction entered against ‘serial filer’

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 11, 2023

Where a man filed eight lawsuits centered around alleged financial losses, each of which was dismissed; recently started adding judicial officers to his latest lawsuits and continued his conduct even after being warned by the court, he was enjoined from filing additional lawsuits against the same defendants based on the same allegations without first seeking permission from the court.


Melvin Dinkins is a serial filer of frivolous lawsuits and motions. Over the past seven years, he has filed eight lawsuits centered around alleged financial losses due to alleged fraudulent conduct by the Region Ten CSB. In the last two lawsuits, he began adding judicial officials as defendants based on their decisions in his earlier lawsuits.

After being warned in April 2022 that filing another lawsuit about the same matters and against immune officials could result in sanctions, he nonetheless filed a new frivolous lawsuit in December 2022, adding another judge as a defendant. Even after the show cause order was issued giving Mr. Dinkins notice that the court was considering a pre-filing injunction or other sanctions, Mr. Dinkins filed more frivolous and duplicative motions.


Mr. Dinkins’ history of filing frivolous and harassing lawsuits supports imposing a pre-filing injunction that prohibits him from filing a lawsuit in any federal court: (1) against Region Ten CSB, its employees, officers, directors or other agents; (2) arising out of the same allegations as any of his previous complaints including but not limited to fraudulent misrepresentations to Medicare and other governmental agencies related to Mr. Dinkins and services rendered to him, Social Security benefits over which Region Ten CSB served as payee, misappropriation of funds, unauthorized charges, improper access to accounts or insurance benefits, unlawful debt collection practices and damages to credit or (3) against any judicial officer, executive agency or official, lawyer or witness based on their action or inaction in any of his previous cases.

As the procedural histories of his eight lawsuits show, Mr. Dinkins has a history of filing vexatious and duplicative lawsuits. All of these lawsuits in this district included the Region Ten CSB and centered around the same dispute, and all were dismissed or terminated early in the litigation. Two different district court judges have informed him that a complaint must be comprehensible and contain more than conclusory assertions, and one of these decisions was affirmed summarily by the Fourth Circuit, explicitly for the reasons stated by the district court. Yet he recently filed an eighth lawsuit containing no facts and nothing beyond conclusory and confusing assertions.

He has repeatedly been told that merely citing statutes and rules is insufficient to state a claim, yet he has continued to file new lawsuits, motions and briefs in which he does only that. In dismissing the first lawsuit in which he named a district court judge as a defendant, the court fully explained the law on judicial immunity, yet Mr. Dinkins responded with another lawsuit against two federal judges.

The burden on the courts from these repetitive and frivolous filings is substantial.

Each case requires opening of a new file by the clerk, review of the paper writing and preparation of an order by the court and the mailing of several orders to Mr. Dinkins. Beyond filing a frivolous complaint, he increasingly files frivolous and incomprehensible motions and other paper writings, which further drains court resources. Alternative sanctions would be inadequate to prevent further abuse of the judicial process.

Mr. Dinkins may bring future complaints against these defendants or including these types of allegations only if he can show through a properly filed motion that the proposed filing can survive dismissal under Rule 12, is not barred by issue or claim preclusion, is not repetitive or violative of a court order, is not against an immune defendant, and complies with Rule 11. If these conditions are not met, the motion will be denied.

Because Mr. Dinkins has repeatedly abused the litigation process, the court finds it likely that he will attempt to ignore this order. Therefore, the court will direct the clerk to not accept for filing any papers initiating a new lawsuit by or on behalf of Mr. Dinkins that are not accompanied by a signed order allowing the filing. To ensure that his abusive litigation does not spread to other districts, Mr. Dinkins will be ordered to provide a copy of this order with any new complaint he files elsewhere. Mr. Dinkins is warned that violation of this order subjects him to sanctions and punishment for contempt of court, including imprisonment.

Pre-filing injunction entered.

Dinkins v. Moon, Case No. 3:22-cv-73, April 26, 2023. WDVA (Eagles). VLW 023-3-226. 19 pp.

VLW 023-3-226

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