Walter Pierce

Feds fine St. Martinville woman for ‘frivolous' lawsuits

by Walter Pierce

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeal has levied a wrist-slapping fine of $105 against a St. Martinville resident who had been warned to lay off the litigation following a string of civil suits filed mostly in federal court in Lafayette that so flustered a judge he ordered the clerk of court to accept no further filings from the woman without approval by a federal judge.

Maureen Greene’s case before the federal appeals court in New Orleans contested a Lafayette federal judge’s decision to throw out her latest lawsuit — a civil rights claim against SMILE Community Action Agency. The lawsuit was the latest in a string of suits Greene has filed in federal and state district courts going back to a 1997 sexual harassment claim. “Over the last twelve years, Greene has brought a variety of civil rights claims against numerous employers — though none has survived to trial on the merits. Indeed, Greene has filed at least ten such suits in federal court and four in state court,” the 5th Circuit ruling reads in part. The federal panel also notes, "This is not the first time Greene has appeared before this court. At the conclusion of one of her suits in 2006, we warned Greene that we are authorized to impose penalties for vexatious and frivolous appeals."

A Lafayette federal judge was so incensed by Greene’s litigious vigor that his last order to dismiss her lawsuit bore an emphatic handrwitten addendum: “DENIED! The clerk of this court is ORDERED not to accept further filings from plaintiff without the order of a United States District Judge.”