Sua Sponte Attorney Sanctions Overturned for Lack of Notice
The Seventh Circuit, in Johnson v. Cherry, 422 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. Sept. 6, 2005), vacated an order imposing sanctions on counsel for allegedly forging a signature on a motion because the court failed to give counsel notice of its intent to impose sanctions. Without resolving the basis on which the court imposed sanctions, which was unclear (the possibilities were Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b)(1) and (3), (c), 28 U.S.C. § 1927, or the court's inherent power), the circuit court noted that "A district court's decision to impose sanctions sua sponte without adequate notice to the sanctioned party also represents an abuse of the court's sanctions power" and overturned the sanctions order here for lack of notice.
Johnson v. Cherry, 422 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. Sept. 6, 2005)