DEMPSEY v. MARTIN
Pro se petitioner John B. Dempsey sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis in the U.S. Supreme Court under Rule 39 with respect to a petition for certiorari. In October 1992, the Court had invoked Rule 39.8 to deny Dempsey in forma pauperis status with respect to a petition for certiorari. Before the 39.8 denial Dempsey had filed eleven petitions for certiorari and one petition for an extraordinary writ. After the 39.8 denial, Dempsey filed five petitions for certiorari. All eighteen of Dempsey's previous petitions were deemed frivolous by the Court and denied without recorded dissent.
May pro se petitioner John B. Dempsey be granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis under Supreme Court Rule 39?
Legal provision: Supreme Court Rules
No. In an 8-1 per curiam opinion, the Court denied Dempsey's request as frivolous pursuant to Rule 39.8. Noting that Dempsey had abused this Court's certiorari and extraordinary writ processes, the Court directed the Clerk not to accept any further petitions for certiorari or petitions for extraordinary writs from Dempsey in noncriminal matters unless he first pays the docketing fee required by Rule 38 and submits his petitions in compliance with Rule 33.1. "The order," the opinion concluded, "will not prevent Dempsey from petitioning to challenge criminal sanctions which might be imposed on him. The order will, however, allow this Court to devote its limited resources to the claims of petitioners who have not abused our processes." Justice John Paul Stevens dissented.