Florida Vexatious Litigant Bill 


Now that the Governor has signed the Florida Vexatious Litigant Bill into law, it became the Florida Statute quoted below. Lose 5 cases in 5 consecutive years (other than in family court and/or small claims court) and you could be required to pay as a Bond, the Defendants estimated Attorney's 
Fees and Costs in advance of litigating a 6th case; otherwise you will not be permitted to litigate, and in any event will be "condemned" in a public court register as a "vexatious litigant." This law only applies to pro se persons (those who litigate their own cases without a lawyer). Lawyers may lose 
hundreds or thousands of cases in court and they never will be considered as 
vexatious litigants -- only Florida persons who pursue their own cases without a lawyer (as pro se) and lose 5 times. Depending upon the civil case and length of litigation time (both in and outside the courtroom) it is projected to take (time and costs to be estimated by the Defendant's Lawyer), pro se plaintiffs could be required to post bond money up front, amounting to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, before that pro se will be allowed to proceed in court; and if bond is not posted by the pro se, the case is dismissed and there will be no litigation allowed on that matter then or 
ever (dismissal with "prejudice"). In other words -- no money no justice. The law does not say what happens if the pro se cannot afford to post the vexatious litigant bond -- presumably the case cannot be litigated, and without having money, justice may be unavailable to low income persons. 

I appeared before a Florida State Legislative Committee in a Public Session and pleaded with the Legislators not to pass this abominable bill, but they proceeded anyway. The Governor of the State of Florida, by signing this matter into law, after being personally forewarned beforehand, how it 
deprives Florida Citizens of justice, especially low income persons, presumably determined that it was okay for citizens who are not fortunate enough to have lots of money, to be deprived of the constitutional ability to litigate their cases in Florida State Courts (and so did the Florida State 
Legislators). Hopefully someday there will be a test court case and this abominable Law declared unconstitutional. 

Colonel Donald I. Rehman, USA, Ret.
Longwood, Florida

The 2000 Florida Statutes
Chapter 68 - Miscellaneous Proceedings View Entire Chapter 
68.093  Florida Vexatious Litigant Law.

(1)  This section may be cited as the "Florida Vexatious Litigant Law." 

(2)  As used in section, the term: 

(a)  "Action" means a civil action governed by the Florida Rules of Civil 
Procedure and proceedings governed by the Florida Probate Rules, but does not 
include actions concerning family law matters governed by the Florida Family 
Law Rules of Procedure or any action in which the Florida Small Claims Rules 

(b)  "Defendant" means any person or entity, including a corporation, 
association, partnership, firm, or governmental entity, against whom an 
action is or was commenced or is sought to be commenced. 

(c)  "Security" means an undertaking by a vexatious litigant to ensure 
payment to a defendant in an amount reasonably sufficient to cover the 
defendant's anticipated, reasonable expenses of litigation, including 
attorney's fees and taxable costs. 

(d)  "Vexatious litigant" means: 

1.  A person as defined in s. 1.01(3) who, in the immediately preceding 
5-year period, has commenced, prosecuted, or maintained, pro se, five or more 
civil actions in any court in this state, except an action governed by the 
Florida Small Claims Rules, which actions have been finally and adversely 
determined against such person or entity; or 

2.  Any person or entity previously found to be a vexatious litigant pursuant 
to this section. 

An action is not deemed to be "finally and adversely determined" if an appeal 
in that action is pending. If an action has been commenced on behalf of a 
party by an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, that action is 
not deemed to be pro se even if the attorney later withdraws from the 
representation and the party does not retain new counsel. 

(3)(a)  In any action pending in any court of this state, including actions 
governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules, any defendant may move the court, 
upon notice and hearing, for an order requiring the plaintiff to furnish 
security. The motion shall be based on the grounds, and supported by a 
showing, that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and is not reasonably 
likely to prevail on the merits of the action against the moving defendant. 

(b)  At the hearing upon any defendant's motion for an order to post 
security, the court shall consider any evidence, written or oral, by witness 
or affidavit, which may be relevant to the consideration of the motion. No 
determination made by the court in such a hearing shall be admissible on the 
merits of the action or deemed to be a determination of any issue in the 
action. If, after hearing the evidence, the court determines that the 
plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and is not reasonably likely to prevail on 
the merits of the action against the moving defendant, the court shall order 
the plaintiff to furnish security to the moving defendant in an amount and 
within such time as the court deems appropriate. 

(c)  If the plaintiff fails to post security required by an order of the 
court under this section, the court shall immediately issue an order 
dismissing the action with prejudice as to the defendant for whose benefit 
the security was ordered. 

(d)  If a motion for an order to post security is filed prior to the trial in 
an action, the action shall be automatically stayed and the moving defendant 
need not plead or otherwise respond to the complaint until 10 days after the 
motion is denied. If the motion is granted, the moving defendant shall 
respond or plead no later than 10 days after the required security has been 

(4)  In addition to any other relief provided in this section, the court in 
any judicial circuit may, on its own motion or on the motion of any party, 
enter a prefiling order prohibiting a vexatious litigant from commencing, pro 
se, any new action in the courts of that circuit without first obtaining 
leave of the administrative judge of that circuit. Disobedience of such an 
order may be punished as contempt of court by the administrative judge of 
that circuit. Leave of court shall be granted by the administrative judge 
only upon a showing that the proposed action is meritorious and is not being 
filed for the purpose of delay or harassment. The administrative judge may 
condition the filing of the proposed action upon the furnishing of security 
as provided in this section. 

(5)  The clerk of the court shall not file any new action by a vexatious 
litigant pro se unless the vexatious litigant has obtained an order from the 
administrative judge permitting such filing. If the clerk of the court 
mistakenly permits a vexatious litigant to file an action pro se in 
contravention of a prefiling order, any party to that action may file with 
the clerk and serve on the plaintiff and all other defendants a notice 
stating that the plaintiff is a pro se vexatious litigant subject to a 
prefiling order. The filing of such a notice shall automatically stay the 
litigation against all defendants to the action. The administrative judge 
shall automatically dismiss the action with prejudice within 10 days after 
the filing of such notice unless the plaintiff files a motion for leave to 
file the action. If the administrative judge issues an order permitting the 
action to be filed, the defendants need not plead or otherwise respond to the 
complaint until 10 days after the date of service by the plaintiff, by United 
States mail, of a copy of the order granting leave to file the action. 

(6)  The clerk of a court shall provide copies of all prefiling orders to the 
Clerk of the Florida Supreme Court, who shall maintain a registry of all 
vexatious litigants. 

(7)  The relief provided under this section shall be cumulative to any other 
relief or remedy available to a defendant under the laws of this state and 
the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, including, but not limited to, the 
relief provided under s. 57.105. 

History.--s. 1, ch. 2000-314.