Pittman wrote with some frustration that Lebby's numerous cases were "incomprehensible and frivolous."
The last time Pittman found herself facing Lebby was in 2010, when Lebby filed a lawsuit seeking "fifty eight trillion dollars" for "legal malpractice and defamation" from the Torrington Police Department. According to the complaint Lebby filed on handwritten sheets of paper, the basis for the lawsuit was that a police officer had not investigated Lebby's report that her 20-year-old daughter had an injured lip.
In its response, the Torrington police department pointed out that since the complaint arose from an incident in Lebby's New Britain home, then it was up to the New Britain police to investigate.
Some opposition to changing the law has already been raised by constitutional law advocates including those who represent themselves in court. One of them is Brooklyn Macellaio, a former East Hartford resident who has filed dozens of lawsuits under the fee waiver system. Macellaio started filing pro se lawsuits against state authorities in 2009, when he paid a $7,800 cash bond after being arrested in a domestic violence case and claims the money was never returned after he got out of jail.
The lawsuit, which names a dozen defendants, remains pending in Superior Court.
"Look, I'm indigent," said Macellaio, who now lives in New York. "The state can not mandate that the poor indigent parties participate in community service. If such a party refuses, they would not have the constitutional right to access to court and due process upheld. No state in the country has approved such a law and the Supreme Court certainly would not allow this."
To back up his point, Macellaio pulled out a law book. "The state Constitution and Connecticut General Statutes 52-259(b) clearly state that 'no person shall be denied access to court due to the inability to pay court fees,' he said.
Others advocates better known in the legal community warned against chilling access to the courts for the poor. Pat Kaplan, the former executive director of Greater New Haven Legal Assistance Association and the current acting executive director of the New Haven County Bar Association, said legal aid agenices are closely watching the legislation.
"I would think there would be constitutional challenges if they were to pursue this," Kaplan said. "You're asking people who can't afford the fees, who are usually impoverished for one reason or another, disabled, working a low wage job, to pay what they can't afford, and they don't have time to do community service," Kaplan added: "Maybe the intention is to stop frivolous cases, but it would have the unintended consequences of harming people who need child support or other remedies. It would have the unintended consequence that are far greater than the value it would serve."