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Thomasson v. GC Services Limited Partnership

September 5, 2007

ANDREW T. THOMASSON, REBECCA J. THOMASSON, MACDONALD P. TAYLOR JR., AND CHENOA R. TAYLOR, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GC SERVICES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 25, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Larry Alan Burns United States District Judge

ORDER IMPOSING RULE 11 SANCTIONS

[Dkt No. 202]

On September 4, 2007, the court convened a scheduled hearing to afford pro hac vice counsel for plaintiffs in this action, Robert L. Arleo, Esq., the opportunity to show cause why FED.R.CIV.P. ("Rule") 11 monetary sanctions should not be imposed against him for making contemptuous and wholly unfounded accusations against the undersigned District Judge in his July 30, 2007 Declaration in support of a Motion For Reconsideration of the Order granting defendant's summary judgment motion. Mr. Arleo appeared telephonically at the hearing. Co-counsel for plaintiffs, Robert Shroth, Jr., Steven Shewry, Esq., and Michelle Van Dyke, Esq., and counsel for defendant, John H. L'Estrange, Jr., personally appeared.

In the Order To Show Cause ("OSC") summoning Mr. Arleo to appear, the court set forth the specific language presented as "facts" from the Arleo Declaration constituting, in the opinion of this court, contemptuous conduct:

Importantly, I have appeared before some federal judges who simply view FDCPA Plaintiffs as deadbeats who should be paying their bills instead of burdening the federal courts with claims of violations of the FDCPA by debt collectors attempting to collect their debts. Based upon the contents of the Friday the 13th Order by this Court, I can confidently state that the Court herein quite unfortunately views my clients in that exact same manner.

Dkt No. 198, 2:15-19. Obviously, the Court herein has referred in bold to these 3 telephone calls for the clear purpose of trivializing the herein action for its own convenience.

Dkt No. 198, 3:23-24.

To assert that the Plaintiffs herein allegedly invoked this strategy in order to impermissibly convert its opposition to its own motion for summary judgment is patently ridiculous and simply further clear and unmistakable evidence of the Court's consistent pattern of bias levied against the Plaintiffs.

Dkt No. 198, 6:16-19.

The refusal by this Court to consider the factual merits of the contents of these putative class members [sic] demonstrates a recklessness far beyond any alleged recklessness, which the Court accuses me of in certain portions of its Friday the 13th Order.

Dkt No. 198, 9:17-19.

As set forth above, it is my contention that the Court herein is absolutely and undeniably biased against the Plaintiffs and views each as debtors who should simply shut up and pay up. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that I have experienced clear bias against FDCPA plaintiffs and a disdain for the FDPCA [sic] exhibited by a federal district court.

Dkt No. 198, 13:23-26.

Rule 11(b) provides, in ...


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