Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hooker v. Wilkie

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

December 16, 2019

CARLTON HOOKER, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT WILKIE, Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Charlene Edwards Honeywell United States District Judge

         This cause comes before the Court upon: (1) Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions, Doc. 68; (2) Plaintiff's Second Motion for Sanctions, Doc. 69; (3) Plaintiff's Third Motion for Sanctions, Doc. 71; and (4) Plaintiff's “[Third] Motion for Sanctions - Local Rule 3.01(g) No. Opposition Exists” (the “Third Motion for Sanctions Supplement”), Doc. 72. Defendant has responded in opposition. Docs. 70, 73. The Court, having considered the parties' submissions and being fully advised in the premises, will deny each of the motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Carlton Hooker, Jr. (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se in this matter, [1] is a veteran with a service-connected disability and a former employee of the Bay Pines VA Health Care System. Doc. 48 at 6. Plaintiff sues Robert Wilkie, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (“Defendant”) under several different causes of action, as set forth in his second amended complaint. Doc. 48 at 5, 8. The Court has previously described the facts and procedural history of this action in extensive detail. The relevant background for the analysis herein is discussed below.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 11 provides that an attorney or unrepresented party who submits a pleading, motion, or other paper certifies “to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances”:

(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;
(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and (4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b).

         “The standard for testing conduct under . . . Rule 11 is ‘reasonableness under the circumstances.'” Anderson v. Smithfield Foods, Inc., 353 F.3d 912, 915 (11th Cir. 2003). Furthermore, a motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must describe the conduct that allegedly violates Rule 11(b). Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c). When a motion for sanctions is filed under Rule 11, the movant must serve a copy of such motion upon the opposing party at least twenty-one days before filing the motion with the court. Id. This “safe harbor” provision is intended to emphasize the seriousness of a motion for sanctions and define precisely the conduct allegedly in violation of the Rule. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 Advisory Committee Notes (1993 Amendment). Courts frequently deny requests for sanctions when a party does not comply with this provision. Espanol v. Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC, No. 8:10-cv-944-T-35AEP, 2012 WL 12904800, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 9, 2012) (Scriven, J.) (collecting cases). Indeed, a movant's failure to satisfy this twenty-one-day safe harbor provision “forecloses” sanctions under Rule 11. Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 Fed.Appx. 781, 786 (11th Cir. 2006) (per curiam).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff has filed three motions for sanctions. The Court now addresses each motion. For the reasons set forth below, the motions are due to be denied.

         A. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.