United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. WHITNEY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on the Court's Order to Show
Cause entered on May 30, 2018. (Doc. No. 18). The Court
ordered Plaintiff to show cause why her filing of the
“Amended Complaint” does not warrant sanctions.
(Doc. No. 18). The Court stated the failure to show cause or
respond, “may result in the entry of sanctions,
including but not necessarily limited to a pre-filing
injunction.” (Doc. No. 18 at 2-3). Plaintiff filed a
response on June 13, 2018. (Doc. No. 19).
previously summarized by the Court in its May 30, 2018 order:
Plaintiff commenced this case pro se and moved to
proceed in forma pauperis on December 15, 2017.
(Doc. Nos. 1, 2). On March 21, 2018, the Court, after
granting Plaintiff in forma pauperis status for the
limited purpose of initial review, dismissed Plaintiff's
complaint with prejudice “as frivolous, for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and for
seeking damages against immune parties pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii), and for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction” and directed the Clerk to close the case.
(Doc. No. 8 at 12). On the same day, the Clerk's Judgment
was entered in accordance with the Court's order and the
case closed. (Doc. No. 9). Plaintiff then filed a pro
se “Order, Memorandum, and Recommendation”
on March 27, 2018, which the Court construed as a motion to
reconsider and denied on April 27, 2018. (Doc. Nos. 10, 12).
Plaintiff filed three days later on April 30, 2018 a pro
se “Motion to Vacate Sua Sponte Order, ”
which the Court construed as Second Motion for
Reconsideration and denied. (Doc. Nos. 13, 14). In its May 1,
2018 order denying the Second Motion for Reconsideration, the
Court “cautioned that continued frivolous and
duplicative pro se filings may result in the
imposition of sanctions.”
(Doc. No. 14 at 2). On May 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed a pro
se “Motion to Alter, Amend a Judgment under FRCP
59(e).” (Doc. No. 15). On May 7, 2018, the Court denied
Plaintiff's “Motion to Alter, Amend a Judgment
under FRCP 59(e)” and further warned that it “may
impose sanctions, including a pre-filing injunction, if
Plaintiff continues to file frivolous and duplicative pro
se filings.” (Doc. No. 16 at 2). Plaintiff filed
this “Amended Complaint” on May 18, 2018. (Doc.
(Doc. No. 18).
have authority to sanction the filings or advocation by
counsel or unrepresented persons if they have violated
Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b) and “to limit access to the courts
by vexatious and repetitive litigants” pursuant to the
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). Cromer v. Kraft
Foods N. Am. Inc., 390 F.3d 812, 817 (4th Cir.
2004) (citations omitted). Rule 11(b) states:
By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or
other paper-whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later
advocating it-an attorney or unrepresented party certifies
that to the best of the person's knowledge, information,
and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such
as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase
the cost of litigation;
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are
warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for
extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for
establishing new law;
(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if
specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary
support after a reasonable opportunity for further
investigation or discovery; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the
evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably
based on belief or a lack of information.
considering sanctions limiting access to the courts, courts
must proceed in accordance “with constitutional
guarantees of due process of law and access to the
courts” and should employ such authority
“sparingly[.]” Cromer, 390 F.3d at 817
(citing U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1). Therefore, courts
provide the “litigant notice and an opportunity to be
heard[, ]” id. at 819 (citations omitted),
which may be in the form of an order “to show cause[,
]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)(3).
the Court “must weigh all the relevant circumstances,
including (1) the party's history of litigation, in
particular whether he has filed vexatious, harassing, or
duplicative lawsuits; (2) whether the party had a good faith
basis for pursuing the litigation, or simply intended to
harass; (3) the extent of the burden on the courts and other
parties resulting from the party's filings; and (4) the
adequacy of alternative sanctions.” Cromer,
390 F.3d at 818 (citing Safir v. United States Lines,
Inc., 792 F.2d 19, 24 (2d Cir. 1986); Green v.
Warden, United States Penitentiary, 699 F.2d 364,
368-69, 370 n.8 (7th Cir. 1983); Pavilonis v. King,
626 F.2d 1075, ...