This matter came before the court on June 1, 2012, for hearing of defendant Robert J. Gabbay's, motion for sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Scott Johnson, proceeding pro se, appeared on his own behalf. Defendant Robert J. Gabbay, proceeding pro se, appeared on his own behalf.
Upon consideration of the briefing on file, the parties' arguments at the hearing, and the entire file, defendant's motion for sanctions will be denied.
Defendant is the owner of the property upon which the Teriyaki House
is operated. On May 17, 2011, plaintiff filed a complaint against
defendant, alleging that plaintiff was discriminated against when he
personally encountered certain architectural barriers in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").*fn1
On October 14, 2011, the parties appeared before the
undersigned for a status conference. (Doc. No. 19.) Thereafter, an
Early Settlement Conference was held on November 1, 2011, before
Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney. (Doc. No. 22.) The matter did not
settle, and the parties again appeared before the undersigned on
November 10, 2011, for a status conference. (Doc. No. 24.) A Status
(Pretrial Scheduling) Order was filed on November 14, 2011. (Doc. No.
On April 2, 2012, defendant Robert Gabbay filed the motion for sanctions now pending before the court.*fn2 (Doc. No. 34.) Therein, defendant asserts that plaintiff's complaint lacks evidentiary support and he, therefore, seeks an award of $5,100.*fn3 (Doc. No. 34 at 4-5, 10.*fn4 ) Plaintiff filed an opposition on May 18, 2012. (Doc. No. 35.) Defendant did not file a reply.
In relevant part, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 provides:
(b) Representations to the Court. By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper--whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it--an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that 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 non-frivolous 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.
(c) Sanctions. (1) In General. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be ...