United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
COLLIER COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Florida Plaintiff,
HOLIDAY Cv. L.L.C. and RTG, LLC, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant RTG, LLC's
(“RTG”) Amended Motion to Award Attorney's
Fees (Doc. 11) filed on January 17, 2017. Plaintiff Collier
County (“Plaintiff”) has not responded, and the
time do so has expired. Thus, this Motion is ripe for the
moves for attorney's fees pursuant to Section 57.105,
Florida Statutes for two reasons. (Doc. 11 at ¶ 3).
First, RTG contends that Plaintiff made certain patently
false allegations that were neither supported by material
facts nor existing law. (Doc. 11 at ¶¶ 4-12).
Second, RTG contends the remaining allegations set forth a
lack of justiciable issues. (Doc. 11 at ¶ 4). The Court
fees awarded under § 57.105 are analogous to sanctions
imposed under Rule 11. The two have the same goal- to
discourage baseless filings. Barrios v. Regions
Bank, No. 5:13-cv-29-Oc-22PRL, 2013 WL 5230653, at *5
(M.D. Fla. Sept. 16, 2013). The court disfavors an award of
attorney's fees where the complaint alleges some
justiciable issue. Vasquez v. Provincial South,
Inc., 795 So.2d 216, 218 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001).
Florida statute provides, in pertinent part:
(1) Upon the court's initiative or motion of any party,
the court shall award a reasonable attorney's fee . . .
to be paid to the prevailing party in equal amounts by the
losing party and the losing party's attorney on any claim
or defense at any time during a civil proceeding or action in
which the court finds that the losing party or the losing
party's attorney knew or should have known that a claim
or defense when initially presented to the court or at any
time before trial:
(a) Was not supported by the material facts necessary to
establish the claim or defense; or
(b) Would not be supported by the application of
then-existing law to those material facts.
Fla. Stat. § 57.105.
action, Plaintiff premised its unjust enrichment claim on
damages awarded in a prior jury verdict. At the dismissal
stage, Plaintiff argued that its claim was incapable of being
brought at the time of the prior state court action. (Doc. 18
at ¶ 16; Doc. 19 at ¶ 16). The Court found
otherwise and effectively dismissed this claim on the basis
of res judicata. (Doc. 33). But, this
finding alone does not warrant an award of attorney's
fees. See Murphy v. WISU Properties, Ltd.,
895 So.2d 1088, 1094 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004) (“[t]he court
must find the action to be frivolous or so devoid of merit
both on the facts and the law as to be completely
Plaintiff presented an arguable claim in good faith.
See Cook v. Cook, 602 So.2d 644, 646 (Fla.
2d DCA 1992) (reversing the trial court's award of
attorney's fees where res judicata arguably
barred claim); Schwartz v. Millon Air, Inc., 341
F.3d 1220, 1227 (11th Cir. 2003) (“good faith focuses
on honesty, sincerity, and a lack of recklessness”).
The Court has no reason to suspect otherwise. See
id.(defining recklessness as a “gross deviation
from conduct that might be reasonable in the
circumstances”). It follows that this action was not so
devoid of merit as to make it completely untenable. Thus,
attorney's fees are not warranted under Fla. Stat. §
it is now
RTG, LLC's Amended Motion to Award Attorney's Fees
(Doc. 11) is DENIED. The Court's
judgment (Doc. 34) remains in effect. The ...