BENTON - An inmate serving a 17-year sentence following a child pornography conviction has been warned by a judge he faces sanctions if he files any more frivolous actions against his ex-wife and an Indiana police officer.
U.S. District Judge Staci Yandle of the Southern District of Illinois threw out an action taken by Phillip S. Grigalanz against his ex-wife Kristi Grigalanz and Indiana police officer, John C. Wimmersburg.
Yandle stated in her Nov. 12 order that this was the plaintiff's s third attempt at suing the pair over claims of misconduct relating to divorce and child custody proceedings in Indiana. Both previous actions were dismissed for failure to state a claim.
"He attempts to raise civil claims under two criminal statutes," Yandle wrote in her order dismissing the complaint. "However, neither statute authorizes a private cause of action."
The judge added, "Similarly, plaintiff's official misconduct claim is asserted under Illinois criminal statute...which punishes criminal misconduct by governmental officials as a Class 3 felony. As such, Plaintiff has no standing to bring a claim."
She further stated that because "plaintiff continues to file frivolous Complaints against these defendants," the judge needed to warn him that courts have the power to protect against "vexatious litigation by imposing fines and filing bands."
A fine of $500 could be levied and until paid an individual cannot begin any other litigation, which Yandle said he should remember before "filing any additional actions related to his Indiana state court divorce and child custody proceedings."
The judge earlier noted Grigalanz, who represented himself, was indigent as he is currently in prison with a balance on his prisoner trust account of approximately $267.
According to Illinois inmate records, Grigalanz was sentenced in 2017 to 17 years behind bars for the child pornography offense. He is being held in Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro.