Justice Over a Vexatious Litigant


HOUSTON: Annamalai Selvam has over hundreds of cases on money laundering and harassing his clients in Atlanta, Ohio and Arizona. Motion filed by Ashirwad A Blessing Temple and Sri Ravula listed the overwhelming evidence on his money laundering cases.

Geetha Ravula, the founder of Ashirwad A Blessing Temple and Chair for Vedic Fair, an event to showcase India and its heritage said she is glad that justice is finally served by Judge Mike Engelhart in the 151st District Court of Harris County on October 29. Honorable Judge has found Annamalai Annamalai a/k/a Commander Selvam a/k/a Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar (Annamalai Selvam) as a vexatious litigant. The District Judge Engelhart also found that Annamalai Selvam meets or exceeds the criteria for a vexatious litigant. Accordingly, the court ordered that “Annamalai Selvam” is prohibited from filing in propria persona (that is, without an attorney) any new litigation in the State of Texas without first being granted permission to file by the local administrative judge”. The local administrative judge shall grant permission only if the litigation appears to have merit and is not filed for purposes of harassment or delay. Furthermore, such permission may be conditioned upon Annamalai’s furnishing of security. The court relied on the case law that the plaintiff had a history of filing or repeatedly re-litigating unsuccessful or frivolous lawsuits.

Some of the cases listed in the Temple’s motion to declare plaintiff as a vexatious litigant read as below, The undisputed evidence shows that in 2008, the Gwinnett County Police Department began receiving numerous complaints from individuals throughout the country against the Hindu Temple and Annamalai (the Temple’s founder), alleging that they were victims of credit-card fraud. Specifically, the victims claimed that they contacted the Hindu Temple in order to purchase “religious services,” only to later discover that their credit cards had been charged up to ten times more than the agreed upon amount. There were also reports that Annamalai had been misrepresenting himself to these purchasers of religious services as a medical doctor.

Annamalai then filed suit against three of the people who had filed police reports against him, alleging that their report to the police had led to his arrest in an unrelated case. Troubled by what the trial court believed to be “almost criminal behavior” by Annamalai in filing his suit to suppress public participation and to continue credit card fraud, the trial court dismissed the lawsuit based upon Georgia’s Anti-SLAPP statute. The trial court also found that Annamalai’s verification was false and that his suit was not well-grounded in fact or warranted by existing law. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling, noting Annamalai’s “substantially documented victimization of individuals throughout the country”.

Annamalai then moved to Dayton, Ohio, leaving behind a wake of lawsuits and criminal allegations in Georgia. Andrea Simmons, Hindu temple moves to Ohio, while guru sues Gwinnett authorities, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sept. 15, 2010.

He left Ohio after just two years, leaving in his wake nearly a dozen lawsuits, $125,000 in delinquent property taxes, and a vacant downtown landmark that he had purchased.

After leaving Ohio, he arrived in Texas, where he will presumably stay until his negative public exposure requires that he relocate again. In Texas, he is operating as Shiva Vishnu Temple of Texas. Predictably, he has now filed 18 lawsuits in Harris County District Courts, most of which under the name “Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar” within a span of three months, most of which are based upon unpaid balances for his holistic services.

Apart from the above cases listed in the motion, Annamalai Selvam was arrested on an indictment from Arizona State on sexual abuse (Case # J-0301-CR-2003000783) and was arrested on October 30, 2008 on 2 felony counts and was bailed after posting a bond for $122,440. Charges were dropped later.

On Thursday November 14, 2013 Annamalai Annmalai a/k/a Dr Commander Selvam a/k/a Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar a/k/a Kumar Chinnathambi has been arrested in Houston. United State District Court has ordered the defendant Annamalai be detained in the Custody of United States Marshal.

Hindus of Greater Houston released a statement that reads, “It is the responsibility of the Hindu community to protect our spiritual and religious tenets and anyone who threatens the doctrines and exhibits improper conduct has to be reprimanded. One such corrupt influence was spreading in the Houston community in the name of Hindu magazine “Karma’ as well as threatening to bring lawsuits on ignorant victims. The verdict given on October 29, by 151st District Judge of Harris County Mike Engelhart, that Commander Selvam was a vexatious litigant and that he no longer is allowed any new litigation. This puts an end to his harassment of the ignorant victims from whom he gets their credit card and charges several thousand dollars under the pretext fortune telling by astrology, Black magic and Vedic Hawans.

Sridhar and Geetha Ravula have bravely fought the unethical behavior of Commander Selvam when he sued them for not giving a booth at Vedic Fair 2013. Hindus of greater Houston recognizes the efforts Geetha Ravula and Sridhar Ravula and the Newspaper India Herald that made investigative reporting alerting the public about this detrimental exploit. Commander Selvam is in the process of building Siva Vishnu Temple of Texas in Baytown. We earnestly hope that the community be beware of such unscrupulous elements proliferating in our society. Hindus of Greater Houston strives hard not only to keep the Hindu community together but also protect it against any manipulation by imposters.”

The Ravulas said it is through advertisements and booths at events individuals or organizations are able to solicit to the community at large. In order to protect the community at large, Ashirwad A Blessing Temple policies do not allow any vexatious litigants that have a repeated record of money laundering to participate in their events or advertise with them. If all local community media and places of businesses double check the material that is being solicited, it will automatically help any citizen of the community from being harassed.  It’s time we as a community stand up in solidarity and courage and condemn such acts of harassment on our brothers and sisters of our society.

Source: Indo American News