District Court Sanctions Lawyer For Refiling Time-Barred Claim – 11th Circuit Affirms

Jackson v. HALL COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit 2014 – Google Scholar.

This is an unpublished decision of the 11th Circuit, affirming a $12,000 sanction award against a lawyer who re-filed a time-barred claim. On behalf of his client, Shawn Jackson, the lawyer filed an employment lawsuit against Jackson’s employer, the Hall County Government.

The first case, called Jackson I, was dismissed by the district court, without prejudice due to insufficient service of process. The next day the lawyer filed Jackson II, which asserted the same claims. The defendants moved to dismiss on the ground that the Title VII claim was time-barred. A plaintiff filing a Title VII claim must file within 90 days of receiving a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC.  Since more than 90 days had gone by, the claim was time-barred. After more litigation, the district court granted summary judgment on the remaining claims asserted by Jackson.

The defendants moved for Rule 11 sanctions on the ground that the attorney had re-filed the time-barred Title VII claim in Jackson II and that he had refused to dismiss the claim.

The district court agreed and imposed sanctions of $12,000, far less than the $50,000 sought by the defendants. The district judge ruled that the Title VII claim was frivolous under well-settled law.

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the sanctions award.

In sum, the lawyer was sanctioned for disregarding well-settled law.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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