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May 22, 2015

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Nevada justices may be growing weary of inmate’s frequent appeals

A state prison inmate is getting under the skin of Nevada Supreme Court justices.

The court has denied the seven petitions filed by prisoner Michael Steve Cox, and he had four previous appeals rejected.

According to prison records, Cox is serving a life term he began serving in 1993 after a Clark County murder conviction. A woman with whom Cox was sharing a North Las Vegas motel room was found strangled to death on March 21, 1990. Cox was later arrested in Arizona and claimed self-defense, saying the woman had exited the motel room shower in the form of a demon that attacked him, according to prosecution records.

The court said Monday the continued filing of "meritless petitions" may result in stopping his filing of appeals without paying the required fees. The appeals were from the district courts in Ely, Carson City and Las Vegas.

District Judge Dan Papez, in a 2012 decision in Ely, said Cox has filed "dozens" of suits "to harass and delay the judicial system." He called these handwritten petitions "redundant and scandalous."

And he said he may declare Cox "a vexatious litigant" if he continues to bring suits without merit.

Cox, in his suits, complains that he was refused meatless meals and he lost weight eating the leftovers on his plate; that the prison declined to furnish him a special boot for a medical condition; that he was subjected to noxious paint fumes, and that other rights were violated.

Papez said the U.S. Supreme Court refused in 2009 to accept any petitions by courts without a filing fee. Cox says he doesn't have the money to pay the filing fee.

The judge said Cox has a "long and spotty relationship with the Department of Corrections."

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