July 31st, 2013
Re: Defendant’s appeal of district court’s order granting plaintiff’s motion for sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(c)
Disposition: Reversing the order granting the motion for sanctions and vacating the order awarding fees
- Attorney Fees: The Ninth Circuit finds that “[t]he motion for sanctions should not have been granted.” The court notes that what plaintiff “fails to observe . . . is that [defendant] had already ‘corrected’ the challenged pleadings and provided all the information it was obligated to provide to the district court before [plaintiff] filed its motion for sanctions.” The Ninth Circuit states that, “no party now disputes . . . that [defendant] provided the district court with a complete and accurate account of the facts of this case during the in camera sessions.” The court finds that, “[plaintiff] moved for sanctions long after the district court had ruled on the adequacy of the government’s eventual compliance with FOIA, and a fortiori after it had ruled [defendant]‘s original response had been inadequate and misleading.” Therefore, “the motion for sanctions was made after ‘judicial rejection of the offending contention,’” and, “[t]he motion for sanctions should not have been granted.