District Judge Denis R. Hurley

Read Full-Text Decision

Defendant school district was required to provide disabled plaintiff with special education and related services under an individualized education program. Pearl, an attorney, was named a defendant in a lawsuit by plaintiff’s parents against the school district seeking to redress violations of their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Within his June 2012 motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, Pearl, the district’s counsel, included a request for Rule 11 sanctions for plaintiffs’ purportedly “frivolous” conduct in naming him a defendant. The court’s Jan. 30, 2013, order granted Pearl dismissal but denied, without prejudice, his motion for Rule 11 sanctions. Because he filed only one motion his motion for sanctions was procedurally defective under Rule 11(c)(2). The court denied Pearl’s renewed May 2013 motion for Rule 11 sanctions. Noting a split between the Second and Ninth Circuits, the court—guided by the Second Circuit’s 2012 decision in Star Mark Mgmt. Inc. v. Koon Chun Hing Kee Soy & Sauce Factory Ltd.—determined that Pearl’s previously denied Rule 11 motion did not satisfy the 21-day “safe harbor” rule with respect to his second May 2013 motion for Rule 11 sanctions.