File A Dispositive Motion Before Seeking Rule 11 Sanctions

If you read a complaint and develop the conviction that the complaint is frivolous or otherwise supports a sanctions claim, don’t rush to seek sanctions. Seek dismissal first. Then, if successful, seek sanctions. Otherwise the court will deny the sanctions motion without giving it any consideration.

Defendant argues that sanctions are appropriate because “Plaintiff’s complaint is meritless and subject to dismissal under Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” Defendant has failed, however, to move for relief under Rules 12(b)(1) or 12(b)(6). In light of Defendant’s failure to move for relief under these Rules or otherwise challenge the viability of Plaintiff’s claims, the Court finds that Defendant’s motion for Rule 11 sanctions is improper and premature. See, e.g.Dobronski v. Alarm Management II L.L.C., 2019 WL 1232690 at *2 (E.D. Mich., Mar. 18, 2019) (a Rule 11 motion for sanctions is not an appropriate substitute for a properly filed motion under Rule 12 or Rule 56); Almeida v. Bennet Auto Supply, Inc., 335 F.R.D. 463, 466 (S.D. Fla. 2020) (where defendant claims that the institution of a lawsuit was improper, a determination as to the propriety of Rule 11 sanctions cannot be made until the conclusion of the case); United Specialty Ins. Co. v. Dorn Homes Inc., 2020 WL 8416010 at *3 (D. Ariz., Jan. 9, 2020) (same); Mouzin Brothers Farms, LLC v. Dowdy, 2022 WL 16841583 at *1 (M.D. Ga., Nov. 9, 2022) (same). Accordingly, the undersigned recommends that Defendant’s motion be denied without prejudice.

Jaiyeola v. Bryan, 22 CV 844 W.D. Michigan, Southern Division.

Ed Clinton, Jr.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s