United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
C. CACHERIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Bing Ran; Advanced
System Technology and Management, Inc. (“AdSTM”);
and Qi Tech, LLC (“Qi Tech”) (collectively, the
“Defendants”) Motion for Sanctions. [Dkt. 62.]
For the following reasons, the Court will deny
factual background of this case is recited in detail in the
Court's July 6, 2017, Memorandum Opinion and Order
granting Defendants' motions to dismiss. [Dkt. 60.]
Familiarity with that Memorandum Opinion and Order are
filed the instant motion for sanctions on August 1, 2017.
[Dkt. 62.] On August 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed his
opposition. [Dkt. 66.] Defendants replied on August 16, 2017.
[Dkt. 67.] This matter is now ripe for disposition.
court's inherent power allows it to sanction attorneys
who take actions in bad faith, wantonly, oppressively, or
vexatiously. Royal Ins. V. Lynnhaven Marine Boatel,
Inc., 216 F.Supp.2d 562, 567 (E.D. Va. 2002). This power
should be “exercised with great caution” and can
only be used to assess attorney's fees against the
responsible party if the court finds “that fraud has
been practiced upon it, or that the very temple of justice
has been defiled.” Id. (internal citations and
quotations omitted). The burden of proof for
“demonstrating an entitlement to attorneys' fees
[under the court's inherent powers] rests on the moving
party.” Stradtman v. Republic Servs., 121
F.Supp.3d 578, 581 (E.D. Va. 2015) (citing Morris v.
Wachovia Sec., Inc., 448 F.3d 268, 284 (4th Cir. 2006)).
move for sanctions against Plaintiff for his decision to file
an Amended Complaint, which Defendants assert made
“only minor tweaks and revisions” to his claims,
rather than voluntarily dismissing his lawsuit in its
entirety. Def. Mot. for Sanctions [Dkt. 63] at 6. Defendants
contend that Plaintiff should have recognized the
“total lack of a factual basis to support any [of his]
claim[s] under the [Trafficking Victims Protection
Act].” Id. Moreover, Defendants allege that
Plaintiff's claim seeking a declaratory judgment
ultimately failed to satisfy the Article III case or
controversy requirement. Id. at 7. Finally, Defendants
note that the Court declined to exercise jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's remaining state law claim. Id. at
7-8. Based upon this Court's dismissal of Plaintiff's
lawsuit, Defendants now seek $82, 358.24 in attorneys'
fees and costs. Id. at 9.
instant case, Defendants have failed to make a showing that
Plaintiff's counsel engaged in the type of bad faith
conduct that would warrant the imposition of sanctions
pursuant to this Court's inherent powers. Accordingly,
the Court declines to invoke those sanctions.
reasons set forth above, the Court will deny Defendants'
motion for sanctions. An appropriate Order will issue.
 Defendants' motion fails to
acknowledge that the Court based this determination on two
factors: (1) Defendant AdSTM had never sought to enforce
Plaintiff's noncompetition agreement; and (2) AdSTM made
assurances, in its opposition brief, that it had no ...