SACRAMENTO - A state appeals court has chosen to publish its decision ordering a notorious Sacramento property owner and his attorney to pay $15,000 in penalties for pursuing a frivolous lawsuit.
The order from the 3rd District Court of Appeal, filed Thursday, means the June 18 opinion of the three-justice panel tossing an appeal filed by Raghvendra "Raj" Singh, will become a searchable and citable case that may be relied upon by future lawyers and judges.
The request for publication came from the Sacramento County Counsel's Office, which -- although not directly involved in this case -- has had a long-running battle with Singh over multiple code enforcement issues involving various properties he owns.
In filing the request, Deputy County Counsel John Reed pointed to a series of News10 reports on Singh that began with a fatal fire in December in a boarded-up house Singh owned on Stockton Boulevard.
"The vexatious practices of the appellant in this matter have been a subject of continuing public interest," Reed wrote. "Combating the abuses of vexatious litigants has been of longstanding importance to the legislature and the judiciary."
Reed reminded the court that the facts in the case demonstrated a "new loophole" that could be exploited by others in the future to skirt court rules aimed at preventing frivolous lawsuits from being filed.
San Francisco attorney Steven Finley, whose client was the defendant in Singh's appeal, joined Sacramento County in requesting the opinion be published.