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Nelson v. Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

September 21, 2016

LISA NELSON, personally and as assignee of claims belonging to the Shanandoah Trust, H. Lundahl Telford personally and as assignee to the claims of Marti Lundahl, and H. LUNDAHL TELFORD, Plaintiffs,
v.
MOUNTAIN WEST FARM BUREAU MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, JEFFREY A. DONNELL, GEORGE E. POWERS, LAW OFFICES OF SUNDAHL, POWERS, KAPP & MARTIN, D. CHRISTINSEN, SUSAN AUKEMA, PAMELLA GEE, U.S. Postal Employees, and DOES 1-10, Defendants. E.H. NEILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
HSBC, BENEFICIAL WYOMING, INC., WADE WALDRIP, Judge, JAMES BELCHER, LAW OFFICE OF CROWLEY AND FLECK, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, K.S. CHRISTIANSEN, and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge

         (Direction to Clerk: see Order portion of this document for specific directions in these and other cases)

         I have a reasonable suspicion that one or more of the plaintiffs and one or more of two defendants (one defendant in each case) are engaging in a fraud on the court. So, I will take temporary measures to protect the integrity of the court until I have a firmer handle on what to do.

         In this regard, I am seeking advice from the General Counsel's office of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

         Brief Background

         Both of these pro se cases were removed from state court by a defendant variously named D. CHRISTINSEN and K.S. CHRISTIANSEN. Both of these cases named plaintiffs with similar names, LISA NELSON and E.H. NEILSON. In both cases, D. CHRISTINSEN and K.S. CHRISTIANSEN removed these cases from the state courts and sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Both of these cases involve suits against state judges and other defendants. H. LUNDAHL TELFORD is listed as a plaintiff in one case. For the reasons described next, this person will be referred to as Ms. Lundahl.

         Ms. Lundahl frequently uses aliases. See Lundahl v. Zimmer, 296 F.3d 936, 937 (10th Cir. 2002) (noting Ms. Lundahl filed a suit in the District of Utah under the name of Holli Telford); see also Lundahl v. Nar Inc., 434 F.Supp.2d 855, 860 n.2 (D. Idaho May 24, 2006) (“Plaintiff has employed numerous aliases in her past litigation including, but not limited to, H.M. Telford, M.H. Telford, Marti Telford, Holli Lundahl, H. Lundahl, H.T. Lundahl, Marti Lundahl, and Holly Mattie Telford”). This Memorandum and Order shall apply to Ms. Lundahl even if she improperly proceeds under any alias.

         Ms. Lundahl is known for filing abusive, vexatious and frivolous actions and pleadings throughout this nation and even in the Supreme Court of the United States. As one court has noted:

Plaintiff Holli Lundahl has a lengthy history of filing abusive, vexatious, frivolous actions and pleadings, both in this Court and in other state and federal courts. For example, in 2003, the Utah Supreme Court noted Ms. Lundahl filed 19 appeals, for [sic] writ petitions, two petitions for certiorari, and two petitions for interlocutory appeal before that court, all in approximately four years. Lundahl v. Quinn, 67 P.3d 1000, 1001 (Utah 2003). That court found her filings were “routinely frivolous” and “with the apparent purpose, or at least effect, of harassment; not only of opposing parties, but of the judicial machinery itself.” Id. at 2002. The Utah Supreme Court imposed filing restrictions against Ms. Lundahl.
1. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, In re Lundahl, No. 97-80258 (9th Cir. Jul. 17, 1997);

2. The United States District Court for the District of Utah, In re Lundahl (D. Utah July 8, 2004) (general order imposing filing restrictions);

3. The United States Supreme Court; Lundahl v. Eli Lilly & Co., 73 USLW 3631, 2005 WL 461288 (Apr. 25, 2005);
4. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Johnson v. Stock, No. 03-4219, 2005 WL 1349963 (10thCir. June 8, 2005);
5. The United States District Court of the Western District of Texas, Lundahl v. Hawkins, 2009 WL 3617518 (W.D. Tex. Oct. 27, 2009), aff'd, 407 Fed.Appx. 777 (5th Cir. 2011); and
6. The United States District Court for the District of Idaho, Lundahl v. Nar Inc., 434 F.Supp.2d 855');">434 F.Supp.2d 855 (D. Idaho May 24, 2006).

         Ms. Lundahl worked hard to earn these previous filing restrictions. Her litigation tactics have been “abusive, harmful, and intended to harass and annoy both the parties she names in her lawsuits and the entire judicial system she purports to invoke.” Lundahl v. Nar Inc., 434 F.Supp.2d 855');">434 F.Supp.2d 855, 859 (D. Idaho May 24, 2006). Ms. Lundahl's lawsuits are often blatant attempts to relitigate previously unsuccessful claims in new forums. See Id. at 856. Her abusive litigation is extensive. A United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas described Ms. Lundahl's litigation history:

A review of the U.S. Party and Case Index reveals that [Ms. Lundahl] has filed more than sixty pro se lawsuits in the federal courts of California, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Texas, and Idaho, and over eighty appeals in the federal appellate courts of those states.
Civil Action No. H-08-3786, Order of Dismissal (S.D. Tex. Jan. 14, 2009) (citations omitted). Those numbers have only increased substantially over the last five years.

Lundahl v. Eli Lilly & Co., No. 13-CV-241-SWS, 2014 WL 347157, at * 1-2 (D. Wyo. Jan. 30, 2014), aff'd sub nom. Lundahl v. Halabi, 600 F.App'x 596 (10th Cir. 2014).

         Brief Summary of Hearings held on September 19, 2016

         I held back-to-back hearings in these cases on September 19, 2016. Every person appearing without counsel was sworn under penalty of perjury.

         In Case No. 8:16CV368, I ordered Defendant D. Christinsen and Plaintiffs Lisa Nelson and H. Lundahl Telford to appear before me. I warned that the failure to appear as ordered could result in the imposition of sanctions including, but not limited to, the imposition of monetary sanctions, barring one or more of the summoned litigants from prosecuting or defending cases in this court, and dismissal with prejudice of the claims or defenses of one or more of the summoned litigants. The other parties to this action were not required to attend the hearing, but they could appear if they so desired.

         I entered a similar order in Case No. 4:16CV3093. There, I ordered Defendant K.S. Christiansen and Plaintiff E.H. Neilson to appear.

         In Case No. 8:16CV368, Plaintiff Lisa Nelson failed to appear as ordered. Instead, a person by the name of Steven Fritts appeared. He declared in a sworn pleading that: “Due to a family emergency requiring Lisa Nelson to relocate to Panama on or about September 3, 2016, I revoked the assignment to Lisa Nelson, terminated Lisa's services as a subordinate trustee, and re-assigned the causes of action underlying this action to myself pursuant to my duties under the trust instrument; said instrument originally created by Hollie Telford in 1991.” Ms. Lundahl also appeared, together with a person claiming to be “D. Christinsen.” (He later identified his first name as “Dillon.”)

         I examined each of these three individuals other oath. Among many other things, it is apparent that the application to proceed in forma pauperis that accompanied the removal notice filed by “D. Christinsen” is wholly insufficient because the financial affidavit that went with it contains both material omissions and misrepresentations. For example, he admitted under oath that he listed a dead child as a dependent and failed to disclose that he and Ms. Lundahl jointly own a tractor worth approximately $10, 000. Additionally, he had no knowledge of a debt described on his affidavit. (“Primo equity lenders- $720/mo.”)

         Furthermore, it became apparent that D. Christinsen did not prepare the notice of removal. Rather, he had the assistance of someone else. As will become clear in a moment, it is also noteworthy that on the notice of removal, he listed his ...


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