Case Caption: In re RohnCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2016-0041Date: 08/01/2017Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In review of a sanction order entered against counsel in a personal injury suit arising from the filing of two affidavits in opposition to a pending summary judgment motion, the Superior Court's order that counsel pay $1,845 in sanctions to the defendant's is reversed. Superior Court Rule 29 by its own explicit terms, only incorporates Federal Rule 11 "as to form, signing and verification of pleadings and other papers." For similar reasons, the monetary sanctions provisions of Federal Rule 11(c) cannot be incorporated through Superior Court Rule 7, since applying those provisions through Rule 7 would render Superior Court Rule 29 wholly superfluous and without any meaning. Moreover, a rule adopted by the Superior Court may not supersede a statute duly enacted by the Legislature or a precedent of this Court. The invitation to consider alternate grounds for affirmance of the sanction order is declined. In this case, the defendants moved below for the imposition of sanctions against the plaintiff's counsel pursuant to Federal Rule 11, and the Superior Court entered its order on that basis, rather than pursuant to other statutory or inherent authority. The March 2, 2016 order is reversed to the extent it imposed sanctions under Federal Rule 11, without prejudice to the Superior Court determining whether sanctions may be appropriate under a different authority to the extent it wishes to revisit the matter on remand.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion