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Court closes door to frequent litigator

Before Roy A. Day sued President Clinton, before Day sued his own brother, before he sued GTE for a misspelling in a phone directory, before he sued the Pinellas Sheriff's Office and even before he sued his own attorney, Day could walk into any court and file anything he pleased.

But the list of courts where Day finds himself welcome keeps getting shorter.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal took the rare step of barring the Tarpon Springs man Friday from personally filing any more paperwork with its clerk. Day is one of four people barred from the court.

The court said Day's court filings are a "frivolous and abusive misuse of the judicial process" and, absent a real lawyer's signature, any new filings will be sent to the garbage heap.

Day is well known among judges and clerks in Hillsborough and Pinellas courthouses.

He is an avowed enemy of all lawyers. In the dozens of lawsuits and appeals he has filed in various jurisdictions, he always represents himself. He has said the goal of all his lawsuits is to bring down a legal system he thinks is corrupt. The suits are invariably dismissed as frivolous.

And just as invariably, Day appeals to courts like the 2nd DCA.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta banned him after he called a clerk "a bloodsucking, lying Jew" and suggested she be "exterminated."

The U.S. Supreme Court has also restricted Day's access to it because of his "repetitious and frivolous" petitions.

Day, 52, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Day was sentenced to probation in 1995 after pleading guilty to a charge that he stalked and threatened a family who tried to buy his house, forged his brother's signature on checks and illegally taped conversations with police.

Before he pleaded guilty, prosecutors had questioned Day's mental competence, noting he had spent time in a mental institution during the mid-1980s. Day denied that he is mentally ill.

"Everybody is entitled to freedom of speech, but you worry about people going off the deep end," said Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Catherine Harlan, the subject of a Day lawsuit.

Harlan, as much as anyone, may have reason for concern. Day has filed motions with the circuit court calling her "scum" and seeking to have her "placed in the corner with a dunce hat on her head."

"Someday," the judge said, "Mr. Day may have a real cause of action. But because he's cried wolf so often, nobody will listen to him."

Attorney Joe McDermott was appointed by the court to represent Day on the criminal charges he faced in 1995, only to find himself the subject of a lawsuit that was eventually dismissed.

Asked if he knew a telephone number where Day could be reached, McDermott said, "Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you. He'd sue me if I gave it to you."