Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Rule 11 and § 1927 Sanctions Properly Denied Where Misconduct Occurred in Other Actions and Is Unrelated to Opponent’s Conduct in Pending Case

Barksdale v. United States, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21404 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 10, 2014):

Christopher Scott Barksdale ("Barksdale") appeals the decisions of the United States Court of Federal Claims ("Claims Court") dismissing his complaint for lack of jurisdiction and denying his motion for sanctions. See Barksdale v. United States, No. 14-66C, 2014 WL 1910577 (Fed. Cl. May 12, 2014); Barksdale, No. 14-66C (Fed. Cl. May 13, 2014). Because the Claims Court correctly determined that it lacked jurisdiction on the merits and because it did not abuse its discretion in the denial of sanctions we affirm the Claims Court's decisions.

I. Background

Barksdale filed a complaint in the Claims Court seeking to overturn the Sixth Circuit's dismissal of his case. In his complaint, Barksdale sought $32,300,000 in damages, as [*2]  well as injunctive relief compelling the Sixth Circuit and the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to change its policies, procedures, and training. Barksdale raised tort claims, claims of government criminal activity, constitutional claims, and other claims relating to the state of Ohio's statutory and constitutional provisions. The Claims Court dismissed Barksdale's case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. It noted that some of Barksdale's claims were based in tort and criminal law, over which the Claims Court has no jurisdiction. It also found that Barksdale's remaining claims were based on constitutional provisions that are not money-mandating or other authorities, over which, again, the Claims Court lacks jurisdiction.

Barksdale also sought sanctions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927 and Rule 11 of the Claims Court. The Claims Court denied the motion for sanctions, because Barksdale's allegations related to government actions in separate matters. Barksdale appealed to this court. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(3).

II. Discussion


Barksdale also requests sanctions, asserting that U.S. Attorneys committed fraud, perjury and prosecutorial misconduct by "with[holding] evidence" and by the "U.S. Department of Justice['s] failure of duty." Brief for Appellant at Form 12, No. 6.; Brief for Appellant at 21. The government responds that the Claims Court properly denied sanctions because Barksdale failed to show any sanctionable conduct. Appellate courts "apply an abuse-of-discretion standard in reviewing all aspects of a district court's Rule 11 determination." Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., 496 U.S. 384, 405 (1990); see Judin v. United States, 110 F.3d 780, 784 (1997) (applying Cooter to Rule 11 of the Claims Court). The Claims Court denied Barksdale's motion for sanctions because [*5]  these parties were not involved Barksdale's matters. Barksdale's brief again does nothing to refute the Claims Court's decision. Thus, the Claims Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Barksdale's motion for sanctions.

III. Conclusion

For these reasons, the Claims Court's decision that it lacked jurisdiction over Barksdale's complaint and its denial of Barksdale's request for sanctions are affirmed.

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