Rule 11 Does Not Confer a Cause of Action — Successive Complaints Stating Previously-Rejected Legal Theories = Harassment
From Corrigan v. Pflanz, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 5564 (9th Cir. Mar. 8, 2011):
In these consolidated appeals, John L. Corrigan appeals pro se from the district court's judgment dismissing his action alleging that defendants abused Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 in two prior actions. ***
The district court properly dismissed Corrigan's claim concerning defendants' failure to satisfy Rule 11's safe harbor provision in his 2003 action. See Holgate v. Baldwin, 425 F.3d 671, 680 (9th Cir. 2005) ("The appropriate remedy for . . . failure to satisfy safe harbor is a denial of [the] request for Rule 11 sanctions . . . ."). Further, Corrigan's claims alleging Rule 11 abuses were barred under the doctrine of res judicata because he could have raised them in prior actions. See Stewart v. U.S. Bancorp, 297 F.3d 953, 956 (9th Cir. 2002) ("Res judicata, or claim preclusion, prohibits lawsuits on any claims that were raised or could have been raised in a prior action." (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)). ***
The district court did not abuse its discretion by granting defendants Hille's and Scudder's motion for Rule 11 sanctions because Corrigan's filing of successive complaints based on previously-rejected propositions of law constituted harassment.
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