United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. Hanks Jr. United States District Judge
Phillip David Haskett, filed this lawsuit on August 27, 2014,
against Defendants T.S. Dudley Land Company, Inc.;
"Unknown Clients of T.S. Dudley Land Company
#1-#9;" and "Jon Doughs [sic] #1- #9." (Dkt.
is a Texas resident who is representing himself pro
se. This is one of a series of strikingly similar
lawsuits Haskett has filed in this Court, each alleging that
various Defendants unlawfully discriminated against him
because (according to Haskett) their sole reason for not
hiring him after posting available jobs online was that they
guessed his age after reading his resume. In each of these
lawsuits, Defendants have all denied any such age-based
discrimination, and they have instead pointed to a number of
reasons for their decision(s) not to hire Haskett, including
allegations that Haskett had a history of being contentious
and that he had performed poorly when he had been hired in
lawsuit is notable because the Defendant in this case, T.S.
Dudley, has filed an abuse of process counterclaim against
Haskett, characterizing him as an out-of-control vexatious
pro se litigant who also enjoys the advantage of
litigating in forma pauperis, i.e., at taxpayer
expense. This Court recently granted summary judgment for
T.S. Dudley on Haskett's claims against it. Dkt. 175.
Now, the Court turns to T.S. Dudley's own motion for
summary judgment against Haskett for abuse of process. Dkt.
113. The Court has previously set out the factual and
procedural history of this case, as well as the relevant
summary judgment standards. Those standards are incorporated
and applied herein.
Fifth Circuit recently addressed the tort of abuse of process
under Texas law, in Matter of Dallas Roadster, Ltd.,
846 F.3d 112, 124-25 (5th Cir. 2017). There, the Fifth
Circuit noted that, to succeed in an abuse of process claim,
a plaintiff must show the following three elements: (1)
"the defendant made an illegal, improper or perverted
use of the process, a use neither warranted nor authorized by
the process;" (2) "the defendant had an ulterior
motive or purpose in exercising such illegal, perverted or
improper use of the process;" and (3) "damage
resulted to the plaintiff as a result of such illegal
act." Id. (citing Liverman v.
Payne-Hall, 486 S.W.3d 1, 5 (Tex. App.-El Paso 2015, no
pet.) (cleaned up)).
Dudley's motion contends, "Plaintiff has improperly
used his blatantly baseless claims for age discrimination as
a threat to blackmail Dudley into paying over money to him
and has attempted to interfere with Dudley's business
relationships. Additionally, Plaintiff has abused the
discovery process and is seeking information well beyond the
scope of discoverable material in a further attempt to
alienate Dudley from its clients and contractors.
Plaintiff's use of this action as a tool to blackmail
Dudley and seek information about individuals and entities
that have nothing to do with his ADEA claim constitute an
improper use of process for an improper purpose." As
evidence to support its motion, T.S. Dudley points to
Haskett's practice of naming clients as well as the
entities who failed to hire him, his wide, and often
improper, discovery requests and notices in this suit and
others. T.S. Dudley contends that Haskett has
"improperly used the Court's processes to seek
information about individuals and entities who are completely
unrelated to his claim for age discrimination against
Defendant . . . ." T.S. Dudley points out that, in this
case, Haskett has even threatened to subpoena the EEOC
investigator assigned to his claim and that Haskett has an
documented "extensive litigation history" in this
and other courts.
fact, T.S Dudley notes that at least one court now requires
Haskett to seek its permission before filing any lawsuits in
that jurisdiction. See, e.g., Order Directing
Phillip David Haskett to File a Motion for Permission to
Appear Pro Se for All Future Cases in Which He Wishes to
Appear as a Plaintiff in the Fourth Judicial District,
The Sarah D'ann Haskett Educational Trust v.
Stevens, Case No. 09CV264, District Court for El Paso
County, Colorado, dated April 15, 2010 (finding Haskett had
been involved in more than 60 cases in the State of Colorado,
had engaged in problematic behavior during discovery and
"misused the legal system for the purposes of harassing
and intimating his adversary"); Haskett v.
Flanders, No. 13-CV-03392-RBJ-KLM, 2015 WL 5258848, at
*2 (D. Colo. Sept. 10, 2015), aff d, 654 F. App'x 379
(10th Cir. 2016) (finding "Mr. Haskett has a reputation
for frivolous litigation" and that he is "something
of a bully" who "engages in litigation as a hobby,
" including bragging "I invented the concept of
phony counterclaims as bargaining chips.").
although these items might be said to paint a rather
unflattering and unpalatable picture of Haskett, they do
not necessarily establish that there is no genuine
dispute of material fact as to Haskett's intent with
respect to this lawsuit. After considering the
relevant case law regarding abuse of process, and in light of
the summary judgment record before it, the Court finds that
the summary judgment evidence presented by T.S. Dudley fails
to establish that it is entitled to summary judgment on its
abuse of process claim at this time.
the Court DENIES T.S. Dudley's motion for summary
See, e.g., Haskett v. Percheron,
LLC et al, No. 3:14-cv-00257 (age discrimination based
upon failure to hire Haskett from his response to on-line job
postings); Haskett v. Cinco Energy Management Group et
al, No. 3:14-cv-00280 (age discrimination, declaratory
judgment, and intentional interference with prospective
employment opportunities); Haskett v. Continental Land
Resources, LLC et al, No. 3:14-cv-00281 (age
discrimination and declaratory relief claims); and
Haskett v. ...