The plaintiffs filed a civil rights lawsuit against their lawyer, who was also apparently a government official. The defendant, Morella, moved to dismiss and filed a motion for Rule 11 sanctions. Plaintiffs failed to timely respond. The district court granted the motion to dismiss and granted the sanctions motion. The Fifth Circuit held that the dismissal sanction was too harsh because lesser sanctions were not considered. The delay by plaintiffs was “short,” only six weeks and the case had been pending for only three months.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.