Remedies - Sanctions

7th Circuit: Rule 11(c)(2) sanctions motion can be a letter (posted 10/05/20)

Rule 11(c)(2): Motion for Sanctions. A motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must describe the specific conduct that allegedly violates Rule 11(b). The motion must be served under Rule 5, but it must not be filed or be presented to the court if the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service or within another time the court sets. If warranted, the court may award to the prevailing party the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred for the motion.

In Kahn v. Hemosphere Inc., the Federal Circuit upheld the district court's ruling that notice is sufficient to start 21-day clock in Rule 11(c)(2), and formal servicing of a motion on Kahn was necessary. For this, the court cited Matrix IV, Inc. v. Am. Nat'l Bank & Tr. Co. 1), which held that “a letter informing opposing party of the intent to seek sanctions and the basis for the imposition of sanctions” was “sufficient for Rule 11 purposes.”

Dennis Crouch, in his Patently-O blog (link below) notes that the 7th Circuit rule is an outlier, which began “with a flippant ruling.”

649 F.3d 539, 553-53 (7th Cir. 2011)

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