A disbarred attorney, who continued to file hundreds of disability lawsuits on his own behalf, has been permanently blocked from filing new cases in Arizona’s federal court district without permission.
Judge Diane Humetewa officially labeled Peter Strojnik a “vexatious litigant” in a scathing ruling that compared his lawsuits to legal extortion and stated that he “habitually over-exaggerates his injuries.”
Read the ruling below.
“In total, the Court finds Mr. Strojnik’s litigation tactics frivolous and harassing,” Humetewa wrote. “The Vexatious Litigant Motions are granted, and the Court will enter an order to enjoin further abuse.”
By officially designating Strojnik as a vexatious litigant, he will now need permission from the court before he can file any lawsuits in U.S. District Court of Arizona. He would also have to post a monetary bond for any future cases he brings before the court.
So far, two other district courts in California have also hit Strojnik with the designation.
Strojnik has filed approximately 200 cases since losing his law license, which was first suspended in 2018 and eventually revoked a year later.
He’s now filing cases pro se — or on behalf of himself — and listing himself as the disabled person.
The lawsuits are filed in either state or federal courts in multiple states, including Arizona, California, Hawaii, Washington, New Mexico, Oregon, and Colorado.
One of the cases was filed against a Comfort Suites hotel along Interstate 17 in Phoenix.
Manager Amal Walia, whose family owns the hotel, said Strojnik made a settlement demand of $7,500.
If they didn’t agree, he would seek an even higher amount in court.
When asked what Walia thought about Strojnik’s tactics, he responded, “It’s scum.”
Strojnik alleged multiple access violations against the Comfort Suites. One was a parking space had a pitch of 1.5 degrees instead of the required 1.48. Another was a toilet had the flusher on the wrong side.
Arizona attorney Lindsay Leavitt, who’s represented businesses in hundreds of cases against Strojnik, filed the motion to label him a vexatious litigant in late October.
“No longer constrained by the rules of professional conduct, Mr. Strojnik’s… claims are more frivolous and his demands are more outrageous,” Leavitt wrote.
In an initial response to Leavitt’s motion, Strojnik wrote the attorney and his client are trying to recast the hotel from perpetrator to victim and said they are leading a successful strategy to discriminate against disabled individuals.
“They penetrated every capillary of the social body to portray the disabled as an inconsequential throwaway family of unworthy individuals,” Strojnik wrote. “They whispered and sniveled their segregationist views into the ears of the media and the general polity, attorneys general and state legislators, news editors and lawyers associations.”
Before disbarment, Strojnik used to file lawsuits on behalf of a group that called themselves “Advocates for Individuals with Disability,” or AID.
The group filed roughly 2,000 “drive-by” lawsuits in a few months in 2016.
Nearly all of the cases focused on disability parking signs and spaces.
Despite AID’s hardline stance against non-compliant signs and spaces, ABC15 discovered the organization’s headquarters was in gross violation of ADA standards.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at Dave@ABC15.com.