Six Years Of Frivolous Litigation Equals Rule 11 Sanctions

A Michigan district court found that a plaintiff who had spent six years challenging zoning regulations was liable for Rule 11 sanctions.

After conducting a de novo review of the R & R, the objections, and the pertinent portions of the record, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s objections are without merit and that the R & R should be adopted. As stated by the Magistrate Judge, there is “nothing reasonable about Plaintiff’s conduct in this matter” (ECF No. 53 at PageID.603). Over the past six years, Plaintiff has unsuccessfully challenged Marshall Township’s efforts to enforce zoning regulations in both federal and state court. The claims in the present case were not discernable. The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that the “imposition of Rule 11 sanctions is both appropriate and necessary to deter Plaintiff and others from wasting this Court’s limited resources and subjecting future litigants to similar behavior” (id.). Plaintiff’s argument fails to demonstrate any factual or legal error in the Magistrate Judge’s analysis.

Plaintiff argues that his claims and pleadings were not frivolous in this case. He contends that the Court permitted him to “e-file” his pleadings, “proving that Plaintiff’s pleadings were not considered `frivolous’ at that time” (ECF No. 54 at PageID.607). He further argues that if the pleadings were frivolous, “why has [he] not been charged with perjury” (id. at PageID.607).

Cousino v. Township of Marshall, 21-cv-679 (W.D. Michigan 2022). The current case has been pending since 2021 so the “six years” the court is referring to must mean other litigation. I’m not sure that is a proper basis for awarding sanctions in the above-captioned case. The court does not mention a false allegation in its opinion.

Ed Clinton, Jr.

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