Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Second Circuit Issues Rule 11 Ruling; Discusses Authority of Magistrate Judges to Impose Sanctions

Per Kiobel v. Millson, --- F.3d ----, 2010 WL 46785 (2d Cir. Jan. 8, 2010):

Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kimba M. Wood, Chief Judge ) sanctioning appellants pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for making factual representations that lacked evidentiary support. Under our precedents, a statement of fact can give rise to the imposition of Rule 11 sanctions only when the particular allegation is utterly lacking in support. Based on our review of the record, we conclude as a matter of law that none of the statements identified by the District Court meet this standard, and we therefore reverse the order of the District Court imposing Rule 11 sanctions on appellants.

Each member goes on to write separately to opine on the question of a magistrate's authority to issue Rule 11 sanctions in an effort to give some guidance to district courts within the Second Circuit. Unfortunately, none could agree and the issue is left unresolved.


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