DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man who has filed more than 30 lawsuits claiming to be disabled — including one seeking food stamps for his service dog — pleaded guilty to perjury for claiming under oath that he couldn’t walk or hold a glass of water.
James Douris, 60, of Upper Makefield, and his attorney, didn’t comment on Wednesday’s guilty plea in Bucks County, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported (http://bit.ly/1RY4Fw6 ). Douris left the courtroom in a wheelchair.
The perjury charge stemmed from a court proceeding last year. County prosecutors said investigators caught Douris standing on a ladder, pushing a wheelbarrow and using a power saw after Douris claimed he hadn’t been properly served with court papers because he couldn’t pick up documents left at his door.
Douris lost a 2010 Commonwealth Court decision after trying to qualify his dog as a household member for the purposes of getting food stamps. The dog ate the same food as Douris and should have qualified as a dependent eligible for food stamps, Douris argued at the time.
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Douris, an unemployed veteran, has sued municipalities, officials and businesses claiming his various physical disabilities haven’t been accommodated over the past few decades. Nearly all have been thrown out of court.
His Wednesday perjury conviction came shortly after a jury also convicted him of perjury and forgery for fudging an invoice he submitted as evidence against a tree company he was suing. Douris claimed his yard was damaged, and the invoice was for the cost of repairs — but the company he claimed to have paid didn’t exist.
Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Long said he’s hoping the latest perjury conviction will stop Douris from making similar claims in the future.
“This is our best bet at putting it all to an end,” Long said. “What we’re hoping is that if he tries to keep going, people can look back at this and say, ‘You’re a liar.'”
Douris faces sentencing in 60 days after a psychological evaluation.
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com