Public Statement on Orbison Litigation - UPDATE
Official Statement Regarding Pil Orbison Litigation
[See CASE UPDATES at the end of this document]
The City of Hercules is appropriately defending against litigation initiated by local resident Pillar Lee Orbison, aka Pil Orbison, and her Bay Area Diversified Tennis Foundation. The litigation names nine current and former public officials as defendants, and includes one private citizen. The lawsuit has been filed in Contra Costa Superior Court as Case No. MSC16-00638.
The crux of Orbison’s claim is that the City owes her money for consulting work she alleges to have performed on behalf of the City. There is NO MERIT to Ms. Orbison’s allegations, and the City has vigorously defended against this frivolous lawsuit.
Public records show that since 1991, Ms. Orbison has been involved in 60 or more lawsuits in five Bay Area counties. This includes four prior small claims actions that she filed against Hercules that have been dismissed by the courts. These lawsuits divert resources from other priorities and projects which would benefit the community.
Due to the lawsuit the City will not comment in detail, except to make the following points in support of the City’s position that the lawsuit is frivolous, and that the City owes no money to Ms. Orbison whatsoever:
No Hercules City Official has ever negotiated for her services or entered into any agreement with Ms. Orbison or her non-profit;
Orbison has never been authorized to pursue projects or seek grant funding or monetary contributions on the City’s behalf;
The City has fully responded to all Public Records Act requests made by Ms. Orbison;
The City does not have any of Ms. Orbison’s alleged documents or plans, as whatever may have been submitted on an unsolicited basis in the past was returned;
The City has not applied for any grants based on Ms. Orbison’s unsolicited proposals or documents;
The City has never used any of her unsolicited proposals or plans to undertake any work whatsoever;
The City has consistently demanded that Ms. Orbison stop representing that she is authorized to undertake work, solicit funding, or engage in any activities on behalf of the City.
February 6, 2014 demand letter from City to Ms. Orbison
March 11, 2014 demand letter from City to Ms. Orbison
January 25, 2016 demand letter from City to Ms. Orbison
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The foregoing Official Statement was approved for public distribution at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Hercules held on the eleventh day of October, 2016, by the following vote of the Council: AYES: D. Romero , M. de Vera, C. Kelley, B. Kelly, S. McCoy
UPDATE: ORBISON MOTION TO DISQUALIFY COUNSEL DENIED.
October 13, 2016, the trial court DENIED plaintiff Orbison’s motion to disqualify City’s defense counsel. Notice of Entry of Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Disqualify
UPDATE: ORBISON CASE DISMISSED.
December 8, 2016. The trial court GRANTED City’s demurrer to plaintiff’s complaint. This means Ms. Orbison’s lawsuit against the City, Contra Costa County Superior Court Case No. MSC16-00638, has been DISMISSED by the trial court, without leave to amend. Notice of Entry of Order Regarding City Defendents' Demurrer to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
UPDATE: ORBISON DECLARED VEXATIOUS LITIGANT.
January 5, 2017. The Contra Costa County Superior Court SUSTAINED the City’s motion to have Ms. Orbison declared a vexatious litigant. Notice of Entry of Order Granting City Defendants' Motion to Declare Plaintiff a Vexation Litigant
In California, to prevent abuse of the judicial process, a person who files frivolous lawsuits can be declared a “vexatious litigant”. Once declared to be a vexatious litigant, that person must obtain prior court approval to file any new litigation in which she is not represented by an attorney. Click HERE for more information on California’s vexatious litigant law.
The state courts maintain a list of vexatious litigants. Ms. Orbison has been placed on the list, and will be banned from filing any new litigation within the state of California, without first obtaining the permission of the Presiding Judge. The City believes that success in obtaining this ruling will help protect the City from the expense of future frivolous lawsuits filed by plaintiff Pil Orbison.
UPDATE: Orbison Motions to Reconsider DENIED.
January 25, 2017. Plaintiff’s motion for the trial court to reconsider the December 8, 2016 demurrer dismissing plaintiff’s claims against the City and City officials is DENIED by the trial court.
January 26, 2017. Plaintiff’s motion to be relieved from Government Tort Claim filing requirements is DENIED by the trial court.
UPDATE: Defendants Removed from plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint.
January 27, 2017. The trial court reports that Orbison filed a second amended complaint. Consistent with its December 8, 2016 ruling, the trial court promptly REMOVED from the complaint as defendants the City of Hercules, including current and past public officials Biggs, Griffith, Tang, Romero, De Vera, Delgado, Jimenez, and Dwyer.
June 15, 2017. Orbison files Notice of Appeal of trial court’s denial of her claims for monetary damages in the Court of Appeals. Case No. A151566.
July 5, 2017.
July 5, 2017. Case No. A151566. The Court of Appeals rejects Orbison’s request to file various appeals: “BY THE COURT: Pil Lee Orbison has been declared to be a vexatious litigant and is subject to a prefiling order. On June 26, 2017, Ms. Orbison filed an application for permission to appeal several orders that were filed in the Contra Costa County superior court. The application for permission is denied. Ms. Orbison has failed to show a reasonably possibility that her appeal has merit. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 391.7.)”
July 5, 2017. Case A151566. Court of Appeals deems the case closed.
July 7, 2017. Case A151566. Plaintiff files a Motion to Reconsider.
July 17, 2017. Case A151566. The Court of Appeals rejects Orbison’s July 7 petition to reconsider: “BY THE COURT: Appellant's "petition to reconsider the rejected writ" filed on July 7, 2017, is denied.”
July 20, 2017. Plaintiff files Notice to Appeal the Vexatious Litigant ruling with the court of Appeals. Case No A151912.
August 3, 2017. Case A151912. Court of Appeals rejects plaintiff’s application to appeal prior court orders, only her appeal of the trial court’s vexatious litigant ruling is allowed to proceed: “BY THE COURT: Pil Lee Orbison has been declared to be a vexatious litigant and is subject to a prefiling order. On August 1, 2017, Ms. Orbison filed an application to appeal several orders and judgments that were filed on the Contra Costa County superior court. The application is granted in part. Ms. Orbison may appeal the April 5, 2017, order declaring her to be a vexatious litigant. She may not appeal any of the other orders/judgments she has identified. The clerk of this court is directed to begin processing the appeal forthwith.”
CURRENT STATUS: Case No. A151912. Awaiting calendaring of hearing on Vexatious Litigant appeal by Court of Appeal.