Jack Frederick Durie, Jr. was convicted in 1999 of Grand Theft. After his conviction, he filed countless legal claims and filings with the courts to challenge his conviction; so many in fact, that the Supreme Court recently told him to stop or he would be held in contempt.
According to the new Florida Supreme Court opinion of Durie v. State, the Court ruled that Durie, who filed thousands of pages worth of frivolous court documents, was prohibited from filing any more court filings unless a licensed Florida attorney signed off on them. Generally speaking, criminal defendants have a Constitutional right to represent themselves in a criminal case and they are not required to have an attorney approve any legal documents they file. However, in Durie’s case, the courts had enough.
Finding Durie’s actions “frivolous and abusive,” the Court ruled that he would be prohibited from filing any further documents without an attorney’s signature and if he violated that order, he could be held in contempt of court. The Court rationalized that due to the courts’ finite resources, Durie’s nonmeritorious filings were prohibiting legitimate claims from being heard. Says the Court, “Durie is not being denied access to the courts; access is simply being limited due to his abusive and frivolous pro se filings.”