Mary Leary 11 a.m., Aug. 22
Vexatious Litigant Loses Appeal
James M. Kinder made money suing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act those who called his voicemail. Since the late 1970s, he had been involved in more than 600 lawsuits in superior and small claims court -- overwhelmingly as the plaintiff. Many companies settled with him. In 2003, he was declared a vexatious litigant, or a chronic court abuser. Then he hired two lawyers to file his suits. As I related in my column of Jan. 16, 2008, 75 companies that Kinder had sued banded together to defend themselves in his suits. Among other things, he claimed he was not a vexatious litigant, but the trial court disagreed and said there was no reasonable probability he would prevail at trial. Now, he has also lost in the fourth appellate district. Said the court, "the [Telephone Consumer Protection Act] is not intended to apply to circumstances presented in this case where the plaintiff INTENTIONALLY subjects himself to unwanted telephone calls and disconnects the number from his pager device, connects the number to a voice mail tape-recording system and employs a staff to listen to the voice mail messages and catalog the calls for the sole purpose of filing lawsuits."