United States District Court, D. Colorado
February 27, 2014
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
2. RICHARD KELLOGG ARMSTRONG, Defendant.
ROBERT E. BLACKBURN, District Judge.
This matter is before me sua sponte. This matter was tried to a jury on April 9-26, 2012. Mr. Armstrong was found guilty on all thirteen counts of the Indictment in which he was charged. (Verdict Form as to Richard Kellogg Armstrong [#516-8], filed April 30, 2012. Mr. Armstrong subsequently was sentenced to a total of 190 months imprisonment. (Order of Contempt , filed May 1, 2012; Judgment [#588], filed August 14, 2012; and Judgment On Contempt [#601], filed October 3, 2012.)
Mr. Armstrong, representing himself pro se, has a long and well-documented history of filing feckless "notices" and other irrelevant papers with the court in an obvious attempt to inundate the court system and obfuscate proper legal process. Since at least May 17, 2011, Mr. Armstrong has been aware that the filing of such notices is improper. ( See Order [#235], filed May 17, 2011.) For a year thereafter, I struck such improper filings no less than nine times. ( See Sixth Order To Show Cause at 2 [#547], filed May 16, 2012.) When, despite repeated warnings that such actions risked contempt of court, Mr. Armstrong was not deterred, I ordered him to show cause why he should be held in criminal contempt of court. ( Id. at 3-6.) While the contempt charge was pending, Mr. Armstrong continued frowardly to file improper and irrelevant notices. ( See [## 550, 551, 558, 559, 562, 574, 585, 586, 587.) Following sentencing and the entry of judgment, I heard the contempt charge and found Mr. Armstrong guilty of criminal contempt. (Courtroom Minutes ¶ 1 at 3 [#594], filed September 7, 2012.) Judgment for contempt was entered on October 3, 2012. (Judgment on Contempt [#601], filed October 3, 2012.)
Since the entry of the judgment of contempt, Mr. Armstrong nonetheless has continued to demonstrate his utter contempt for the rule of law and the dignity of the court by literally inundating the court at regular intervals with all manner of ineffectual and irrelevant papers. ( See, e.g., ##638, 640, 643, 644, 646, 650, 651, 652, 653, 654, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673, 674, 675, 676, 679, 680, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687. 688, 689, 690, 691, 692, 693, 694, 695, 696, 697, 698, 699, 700, 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706, 707, 708, 709, 710, 711, 717, 718, 719, 720, 723, 724, 725, 726, 727, 728, 729, 730, 731, 732, 733, 734, 735, 736, 737, 738, 739, 740.) Both the frequency and the volume of these filings is increasing over time. The most recent filing, received this week, contains 175 pages of redundant and utterly ridiculous papers, steeped in faux-legalese, that have absolutely no bearing on any matter in this case.
The clear and obvious purpose of these filings is to provoke a reaction from the court. Post judgment, the court simply ignored Mr. Armstrong's jejune and puerile antics. This tactic, however, has not only not deterred Mr. Armstrong, but apparently fueled and increased his proclivity for the ingravescent abuse of the legal process. The point has now been reached where the burden on the clerk of the court in docketing Mr. Armstrong's prolix, edentate papers has become unreasonably onerous. All Mr. Armstrong's papers, even though wholly ineffectual and plainly not intended to serve any purpose other than to harass, must be individually scanned page-by-page into the court's CM/ECF system at the expense of the real business of the court and the colorable claims of other litigants. Requiring the clerk of the court and his staff to continue to expend any amount of additional time on these matters is prodigal.
The court can no longer countenance what is clearly intended to be - and, indeed, has become - a contumacious abuse of the legal process. I therefore will enter prophylactic orders to protect the clerk, the court, and the legal process from Mr. Armstrong's disaffected machinations. The measures I take are extraordinary, but the situation in which Mr. Armstrong has placed himself and this court is extraordinary as well.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
1. That effective immediately, the defendant, Richard Kellogg Armstrong, is ENJOINED, RESTRAINED, and PROHIBITED from filing any further paper(s), regardless of how titled or denominated, in this case without prior order of the court by proper motion and only for good cause shown;
2. That the defendant, Richard Kellogg Armstrong, is ENJOINED, RESTRAINED, and PROHIBITED from tendering any further paper(s) for filing in this case without the order required in paragraph 1 above;
3. That any paper(s) sought to be filed SHALL NOT BE ATTACHED or APPENDED to the motion required in paragraph 1 above;
4. That a motion to file additional papers SHALL NOT BE CONTAINED or INCLUDED in any paper(s) sought to be filed;
5. That any paper(s) sought to be filed SHALL NOT BE TENDERED with the motion to file additional papers; and
6. That unless otherwise ordered, the clerk of the court SHALL DESTROY any paper(s) tendered for filing by Mr. Armstrong that is not preceded and authorized by the order required in paragraph 1 above.