Wetzel v. Travelers Companies, Inc.

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Justia Opinion Summary

After denying Plaintiff's petition for a writ of mandamus the Supreme Court sanctioned Plaintiff, holding that Plaintiff abused the judicial process and burdened the Court's limited judicial resources.

Plaintiff was the defendant in two civil actions brought by Defendant, and motions for summary judgment against Plaintiff were granted in each case. Plaintiff subsequently filed six petitions or notices seeking relief related to the civil cases and filed more than one hundred pleadings in connection with each case. All six cases were either denied dismissed, or transferred. Based on Plaintiff's filing history, the Supreme Court issued an order directing him to show cause why he should not be prohibited from filing any further pro se documents in the Court related to two cases. The Court then held, based on Plaintiff's persistent history of filing pro se petitions that were frivolous, meritless, or otherwise inappropriate for the Court's review, the Clerk of the Court is instructed to reject any future filings submitted by Plaintiff related to the two civil cases unless such filings were signed by a member in good standing of the Florida Bar.

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Supreme Court of Florida ____________ No. SC18-2109 ____________ LARRY R. WETZEL, Petitioner, vs. THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES, INC., Respondent. April 4, 2019 PER CURIAM. This case is before the Court on the petition of Larry R. Wetzel for a writ of mandamus. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(8), Fla. Const. By order dated January 24, 2019, we denied Wetzel’s petition pursuant to Huffman v. State, 813 So. 2d 10, 11 (Fla. 2000). See Wetzel v. Travelers Companies, Inc., No. SC18-2109, 2019 WL 757936 (Fla. Jan. 24, 2019). Concurrent with the denial of the petition, we expressly retained jurisdiction to pursue possible sanctions against Wetzel. Id.; see Fla. R. App. P. 9.410(a) (Sanctions; Court’s Motion). Wetzel was the defendant in two civil actions for fraud, injunctive relief, and damages brought by The Travelers Companies, Inc., in the First Judicial Circuit (Santa Rosa County case number 572013CA000693CAAXMX and Escambia County case number 172013CA001457XXXXXX). Motions for summary judgment against Wetzel were granted in each case. See Travelers Companies Inc. v. Wetzel, No. 572013CA000693CAAXMX (Fla. 1st Cir. Ct. Dec. 15, 2014); Travelers Companies Inc. v. Wetzel, No. 172013CA001457XXXXXX (Fla. 1st Cir. Ct. Apr. 20, 2015). Wetzel began filing petitions with the Court in 2015. Since that time, he has filed six petitions or notices seeking relief related to the above-noted civil cases. See Wetzel v. Travelers Companies, Inc., No. SC18-2109, 2019 WL 757936 (Fla. Jan. 24, 2019). All six cases have been either denied, dismissed, or transferred. In each case, Wetzel has filed a litany of indecipherable and misleading documents with this Court. This case was no exception. Wetzel filed more than one hundred pleadings that were rambling, repetitive, and irrelevant. Based on Wetzel’s filing history in this Court, we issued an order directing him to show cause why he should not be prohibited from filing any further pro se documents in this Court related to circuit court cases number 572013CA000693CAAXMX and number 172013CA001457XXXXXX. Wetzel filed a response to the order to show cause in which he asserts that the order is null and void because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over his cases and has acted in a manner that is inconsistent with due process of law. -2- Upon due consideration of Wetzel’s response, we conclude that Wetzel has failed to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed. Based on his persistent history of filing pro se petitions that were frivolous, meritless, or otherwise inappropriate for this Court’s review, Wetzel has abused the judicial process and burdened this Court’s limited judicial resources. Accordingly, the Clerk of this Court is hereby instructed to reject any future pleadings, petitions, motions, documents, or other filings submitted by Larry R. Wetzel that are related to cases number 572013CA000693CAAXMX and number 172013CA001457XXXXXX, unless such filings are signed by a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. Counsel may file on Wetzel’s behalf if counsel detemines that the proceeding may have merit and can be brought in good faith. No motion for rehearing or clarification will be entertained by the Court. It is so ordered. CANADY, C.J., and POLSTON, LABARGA, LAWSON, LAGOA, LUCK, and MUÑIZ, JJ., concur. Original Proceeding – Mandamus Larry R. Wetzel, pro se, Navarre, Florida, for Petitioner No appearance for Respondent -3-
Primary Holding
The Supreme Court sanctioned Plaintiff, holding that Plaintiff abused the judicial process and burdened the Court's limited judicial resources.

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