Committe v. Dennis Reimer Co., L.P.A.

150 F.R.D. 495 (D. Vt. 1993)

Facts:

  • During foreclosure procedures defendants called plaintiff’s office and improperly conveyed information regarding plaintiff’s debt.

Procedural History:

  • Defendant requests summary judgment for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Both defendant and plaintiff’s requests for summary judgment denied, Plaintiff’s Rule 11 motion granted.

Issue:

Whether a court should award attorney’s fees to a pro se plaintiff

Holding:

A court should only award costs and expenses pursuant to the litigation, but should not award attorney’s fees to a pro se plaintiff.

Reasoning:

* On Personal jurisdiction: unlike subject matter jurisdiction, it is waivable. If defendant fails to raise the defense of lack of personal jurisdiction in the initial motion, it is waived.

* Upon inquiry, defendant should have known that they could no longer raise the defense and in doing so have violated Rule 11.

* POLICY: Not granting attorneys fees because it would work as a dis-incentive for especially civil rights plaintiffs to seek counsel, which would be more favorable for them in the long run.

Court’s Order:

Both defendant and plaintiff’s requests for summary judgment denied, Plaintiff’s Rule 11 motion granted.