Court Denies Poorly Argued Sanctions Motion


The case was filed in the New Jersey state courts and was removed to federal court. The district court granted a motion to remand the case back to the New Jersey courts. Even after remand, the Defendants sought sanctions for the assertion of what they believed were frivolous claims. The Defendant did not identify any particular pleadings that were filed in federal court that were frivolous. Therefore, it denied the motion.

The explanation: “Defendant does not point to a particular federal filing that forms the basis of its claims for sanctions. Instead, it refers to Plaintiffs’ state court filings, see Def. Sanctions Br. at 7 (referring to Plaintiffs’ arguments opposing Defendant’s motion to dismiss in state court), as well as representations made during discovery, see id.at 8 (referring to statements from Plaintiffs’ depositions). Defendant also highlights Plaintiffs'”refusal to withdraw these claims.” See id. at 8. However, the complained of conduct is not sufficient to demonstrate that Plaintiffs affirmatively advocated their positions in federal court. Since any doubt is resolved in favor of Plaintiffs, and since Defendant did not point to an affirmative pleading or other filing in federal court on which sanctions should be based, the Court will not impose sanctions on Plaintiffs. Therefore, Defendant’s motion for sanctions is denied.”

If you are seeking sanctions, be as precise as possible as to what conduct was sanctionable. Otherwise your motion may meet the same fate that this one did.

Source: MAKWANA v. MEDCO HEALTH SERVICES, INC., Dist. Court, D. New Jersey 2017 – Google Scholar

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