Seventh Circuit Affirms Sanction Against Frequent Plaintiff Prince Foryoh

In a published opinion in In Re City of Chicago, No. 07-2608,  the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reaffirmed its prior orders sanctioning Prince Foryoh for making false statements on his application for in forma pauperis ("IFP") status. The prior orders barred Foryoh from conducting any federal litigation until all of his outstanding fees and costs, in all of his cases had been paid. The appeal arose after the district courts in Foryoh's pending cases determined that they would allow Foryoh to litigate his pending cases notwithstanding the court's orders. When the defendants objected, the district court judges referred the matter to the Executive Committee, which issued orders stating that barring Foryoh from proceeding would raise due process concerns and prejudice the defendants, since the cases would have to be stayed until Foryoh could pay. On the City's motion, the Seventh Circuit reaffirmed its prior sanctions. The court rejected the view that the sanctions posed any constitutional problem, and described the sanction as "modest." The court emphasized that Foryoh had filed frivolous lawsuits and attempted to defraud both the judiciary and his opponents. The court also rejected the idea that Foryoh's cases would have to be stayed, stating that Foryoh must meet the normal schedule for civil litigation, and that if he fails to do so, his suits must be dismissed with prejudice for failure to prosecute. The court did clarify that once Foryoh pays what he owes, he is entitled to have the order lifted immediately. Avi Kamionski handled the case in the district court and Myriam Kasper handled the appeal.