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Gains seeks to stop lawsuit filer



Published: Wed, July 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains has sued a city man who has filed 12 lawsuits in Municipal Court since the start of the year.

Gains seeks to have common pleas Judge Maureen A. Cronin declare Leland Bennett, who also uses the name Daniel Abengo, a "vexatious litigator."

In a lawsuit filed Monday, the prosecutor argues that Bennett files unwarranted complaints and other papers "for the purpose of harassing or to maliciously injure another party."

He asks Judge Cronin to prohibit Bennett indefinitely from filing new lawsuits or continuing with pending suits.

Bennett, 40, of Mariner Avenue, has sued Gains, Mahoning County Child Support Enforcement Agency, Mahoning County Children Services Board, city of Youngstown, Youngstown Police Department, Youngstown Clerk of Courts, U.S. Postal Service, a Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Sky Bank. Each of the suits seeks $3,000 in damages.

The suit against Gains, filed in May, says that the prosecutor "can't abide the law" and accuses him of being in "the good ol' boy network."

It also refers to a garage his mother built. The suit was dismissed July 2 when Bennett did not show up at a hearing. He said he was in a North Carolina hospital.




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