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Kirsha Brown-Younger v. Defendants.

July 3, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge


Pro se plaintiff Kirsha Brown-Younger ("Brown-Younger") is totally out of control.*fn1

Always combative, she has now unraveled to the point where she lashes out at everyone (including this Court) who dares to disagree with her patent misapprehensions about the law (about which she professes to be all-knowing). This Court has reached the conclusion that this action has increasingly become a vehicle for abuse on Brown-Younger's part, rather than a legitimate lawsuit. Accordingly this opinion will conclude by ordering her response as to why dismissal of this action is not appropriate.

Lest there be any sense that this conclusion may simply be a reaction affected by Brown-Younger's personalized attack on this Court, some substantial background explanation is called for. This opinion therefore turns to a review of the bidding.

On that score, to spare the reader the burden of having to retrieve this Court's recent June 19 memorandum opinion and order (Dkt. 67), a copy is attached to this opinion as Ex. 1, to enable it to be read at the outset -- that is, now. . . . When that task has been completed, this opinion will then revert briefly to some of the very early history of this litigation, and it will then return to the present (post-June 19) developments that show the further obsessive misconduct by Brown-Younger that in this Court's view appears to cry out for dismissal.

It is a substantial understatement to say that this Court began its involvement in this case by extending to Brown-Younger every courtesy (as well as every benefit of the doubt). Literally one day after the March 19, 2012 receipt of her Complaint in the Clerk's Office, with a delivery of the judge's copy to this Court's chambers taking place on that same March 19 date, this Court screened the pleading to determine its non-frivolousness.*fn2 It found that Brown-Younger's claim of copyright infringement of her book of poems, Glimpses of Life, appeared plausible enough to satisfy that second component of in forma pauperis qualification, as set out in the cases referred to in n.2.

Accordingly this Court granted Brown-Younger in forma pauperis status immediately --on March 20. Then, when something over a month later Brown-Younger filed a Motion for Appointment of Counsel, it took this Court only a few days to obtain the name of a member of the District Court's trial bar to represent her on a pro bono publico basis and to appoint the lawyer for that purpose.

When it developed that the originally appointed counsel had a conflict of interest, this Court obtained the name of another trial bar member, who shortly thereafter sought and was granted leave to withdraw, after which a third lawyer was obtained for Brown-Younger from the same source. But within a few weeks after that last appointment, Brown-Younger filed a June 5 Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. 45) in which she leveled the following charges against that third counsel as well as against another lawyer who had been appointed to represent her in a different action pending before this Court's colleague Honorable George Lindberg (a case about which this Court has no knowledge):

These Attorneys have jeopardized and sabotaged the integrity of this case, and the court. These Attorneys have committed abuse of process, by misrepresenting the Plaintiff, Kirsha Brown-Younger, on the basis of her disability and race. Both Attorneys have represented the opposing parties, and presented conduct that implies that they are working on the behalf of the opposing counsel. The Attorneys have violated FRCP Rule 11b, by conducting improper purpose.

This Court naturally viewed those accusations as evidencing Brown-Younger's desire to fire the third appointed counsel, and it immediately granted that relief -- but in its June 12 memorandum opinion and order that terminated the lawyer's representation it ordered him to file a written response to Brown-Younger's charges (meanwhile declining to appoint still another lawyer, pending what that response would reveal). Sure enough, the lawyer then filed a detailed and persuasive response that put the lie to Brown-Younger's scurrilous charges.*fn3 Understandably this Court determined that no new counsel would be appointed (a discretionary matter under this District Court's LR 83.39), so that since then Brown-Younger has again been acting pro se.

Only one other matter bears mention about the earlier proceedings in the case. When Brown-Younger sought the entry of an order of default against one of the defendants, Barnes & Noble, Inc., because it had failed to file a responsive pleading, this Court promptly granted that motion and confirmed that conversion of the order of default into a default judgment would require a prove-up hearing. Needless to say, nothing about that aspect of the case contained even a hint of bias on the part of this Court.

Fast forward then to the June 27 hearing that had been anticipated by the attached June 19 opinion. During the course of that hearing it developed that Brown-Younger had filed an ARDC charge (sound familiar?) against the lawyer for defendant, asserting that he had originally appeared on her behalf but had then withdrawn to appear for Amazon -- a clear conflict of interest charge, but simply a flat-out lie. When called on that falsehood, Brown-Younger first crawfished ("I had so many lawyers, several court-appointed, in getting on my case and withdrawing"), after which this Court inquired whether she felt that it was all right "to shoot first and ask questions later." This exchange then took place:

THE COURT: Do you know what a lawyer's reputation involves? Do you know that the idea of filing with the ARDC a complaint ...

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