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Guerrero v. Weeks

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

February 26, 2014

ESPERANZA GUERRERO, Plaintiff,
v.
AMY T. WEEKS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES C. CACHERIS, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Esperanza Guerrero's pro se objections to the January 10, 2014 Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson ("R & R"), [Dkt. 82], regarding Defendant Amy T. Weeks's ("Defendant" or "Weeks") Second Motion for Sanctions, [Dkt. 73]. For the following reasons, the Court will overrule Plaintiff's objections.

I. Background

The facts underlying this case are fully set forth in the Court's Memorandum Opinion dated September 16, 2013, [Dkt. 15], familiarity with which is presumed. In brief, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant fabricated a truancy summons served on November 24, 2007, leading to Plaintiff's confrontation with the police. (Compl. ¶ 28.) As recounted in Magistrate Judge Anderson's Report and Recommendation, this matter comes before the Court on Defendant's second motion for sanctions. (R & R at 2.)

On November 1, 2013 Defendant served Plaintiff with Defendant's first safe harbor letter, "enclosing a proposed motion for sanctions and supporting memorandum, which notified plaintiff of defendant's intent to seek sanctions for plaintiff's filing certain post-judgment pleadings (Docket nos. 17, 19, 27, 28, 29) if those motions were not withdrawn within 21 days." (R & R at 2.) On November 5, 6 and 15 the Court denied these motions. [Dkts. 30-32, 48-49.] On November 14, 2013, Defendant filed six additional motions: (1) Motion to Admit Evidence, [Dkt. 34]; (2) Motion for Leave to File Subpoena Duces Tecum and Interrogatories Questions, [Dkt. 37]; (3) Motion for Leave to File Notice of Constitutional Questions, [Dkt. 39]; (4) Motion for an Extension of Time, for Review of Reconsideration, [Dkt. 42]; (5) a second Motion for Leave to File Notice of Constitutional Questions, [Dkt. 44]; and (6) a notice of Motion to be Heard, [Dkt. 59]. On November 14, 2013, Defendant served plaintiff with a second safe harbor letter, notifying her of Defendant's intent to seek sanctions if the November 14 motions were not withdrawn. (R & R at 3.)

On November 21, 2013, Plaintiff filed three additional motions seeking discovery. [Dkts. 52, 53, 62.] On December 3, 2013, Magistrate Judge Anderson denied Defendant's First Motion for Sanctions and denied Plaintiff's motions seeking discovery and her November 14 Motion for Leave to File Subpoena. [Dkt. 69.] Plaintiff did not withdraw the five remaining motions listed in Defendant's second safe harbor letter. On December 13, 2013, Defendant filed her Second Motion for Sanctions and accompanying memorandum. [Dkts. 73, 75.]

On January 10, 2014, Magistrate Judge Anderson issued the Report and Recommendation finding that Plaintiff has violated Rule 11. Judge Anderson recommends that Plaintiff pay a $650.00 award to Defendant and that Defendant be excused from responding to any further pleadings filed by Plaintiff in the District Court in this action unless directed to do so. (R & R at 12.) On January 23, 2014, Plaintiff filed her objections to the Report and Recommendation. [Dkt. 86.] Defendant filed her response on January 30, 2014. [Dkt. 88.] Defendant does not object to the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, but requests that the Court provide a deadline by which Plaintiff may the monetary sanction. (Def. Resp. at 2.) Plaintiff filed her reply on February 10, 2014. [Dkt. 89.]

Plaintiff's objections are now before the Court.

II. Standard of Review

Pursuant to the Federal Magistrate's Act, the parties may serve and file written objections to the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendation within fourteen days after being served with a copy of the magistrate judge's recommended disposition. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). For non-dispositive matters, "[t]he district judge in the case must consider timely objections and modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). A district judge also "may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate, " id. see also Beck v. Angelone, 113 F.Supp.2d 941, 947 (E.D. Va. 2000), appeal dismissed by 261 F.3d 377 (4th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 987 (2001), and may receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).

III. Analysis

The R & R finds that Plaintiff violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b)(1) and (2). Rule 11(b) states, in pertinent part:

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 any inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly ...

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