Yukon court halts Elvis Presley lawsuits


Posted: Monday, March 03, 2003

WHITEHORSE, Yukon - It's official: Elvis Presley may no longer file lawsuits against the government.

Calling him a serial litigant, a Supreme Court judge last week ruled that Presley, a Yukon musician and artist who changed his name from Gilbert Nellis about five years ago, may not file any more lawsuits until he pays all his outstanding court costs and gets special permission from the courts.

Visiting Justice Ted Richard on Thursday ruled in favor of a request from the Solicitor General of Canada limiting Presley from filing further lawsuits. The limit only applies to proceedings against the Canadian government, its officers and servants.

Since 1995, Presley has made multiple trips to the court registry, including seven to file lawsuits or claims.

It started with a run-in with a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in Carcross. When he wrote up his report from a criminal investigation involving Presley, Cpl. Doug Reti penned "certain statements" about the musician, who at the time lived in Tagish.

Presley claimed they were defamatory and started a series of lawsuits against Reti and others.

Each proceeding has been dismissed. In the first, against Reti and the Attorney General of Canada for defamation, the action was dismissed after a 1998 trial. Presley was ordered to pay $13,505.25 in costs. They remain unpaid.

Since then, Presley has sued the territorial court judge, the RCMP's Public Complaints Commission, and Reti again, including a damage request for $200 million.

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