Rule 11 Sanctions Denied Where Court Loses Subject Matter Jurisdiction


The case was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Despite the dismissal, the Defendant sought to have plaintiff held in contempt because the plaintiff allegedly violated a protective order. A protective order is an order of the court that keeps certain documents secret pending the resolution of the litigation. Documents that are protected from public disclosure can include trade secrets and other confidential company information.

The magistrate denied the motion to enforce the protective order and denied the motion for sanctions on the ground that the court had no subject matter jurisdiction. The court held that it lacked jurisdiction to sanction plaintiff for violating a court order.

Comment: other courts have ruled that they had jurisdiction to take up sanctions motion after a case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. This ruling is unusual and may be the subject of further appeals.

Source: Giese v. BOSTIK, INC., Dist. Court, SD California 2017 – Google Scholar

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