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Sprague v. Neil

February 29, 2008

ROGER W. SPRAGUE, PLAINTIFF
v.
BURTON NEIL, ESQUIRE; BURTON NEIL ASSOCIATES, P.C.; YALE D. WEINSTEIN, ESQUIRE; EDWARD J. O'BRIEN, ESQUIRE; JAY H. PRESSMAN, ESQUIRE; UNIVERSAL BANK, N.A.; AND CITIBANK SOUTH DAKOTA, N.A., DEFENDANTS
ANNETTE M. SCHAFFHAUSER AND STEVE E. SCHAFFHAUSER, JR., PLAINTIFFS
v.
CITIBANK (SOUTH DAKOTA) N.A.; BURTON NEIL & ASSOCIATES, P.C.; BURTON NEIL, ESQUIRE; EDWARD J. O'BRIEN; JAY H. PRESSMAN; AND YALE D. WEINSTEIN, DEFENDANTS
ANNETTE M. SCHAFFHAUSER, PLAINTIFF
v.
CITIBANK (SOUTH DAKOTA) N.A., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sylvia H. Rambo United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Before the court are Plaintiffs' motions for reconsideration in the captioned matters. For the reasons that follow, the motions will be denied.

I. Background

A. Facts

The court writes for the parties only, all of whom are familiar with the facts and procedural posture of this case. It is unnecessary to supplement the facts as set forth in prior memoranda. The court will describe the procedural history of the instant motions, however.

B. Procedural History

1. No. 1:05-CV-1605

Plaintiff Roger Sprague was represented by Attorney Jonathan Altman from November 17, 2005 through August 17, 2006. From August 17, 2006 through December 21, 2006, Sprague was a pro se litigant. On December 21, 2006, Attorney Douglas Goldhaber entered his appearance on Sprague's behalf.

On January16, 2007, Defendant Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. ("Citibank"), filed a motion for sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, against Plaintiff Roger Sprague and his counsel (Doc. 51), and a brief in support thereof (Doc. 52). Sprague and counsel did not file a response to the motion, even after being instructed to do so by the court. (Doc. 70.)

On November 8, 2007, this court entered an order awarding sanctions to Citibank in the form of attorneys fees and costs to defend this action against Sprague and Goldhaber. Citibank was ordered to file affidavits demonstrating the expenses that had gone into its defense. Citibank did so on November 15, 2007. (Doc. 83.) After an order by the court to clarify the affidavits (Doc. 84), Citibank responded on December 19, 2007 (Doc. 85.) The court awarded sanctions to Citibank on December 27, 2007. (Doc. 86.) Plaintiff and Goldhaber are jointly and severally liable for the money judgment. On January 7, 2008, Sprague filed the instant motion for reconsideration of the award. (Doc. 87.) The motion has been fully briefed and is ready for disposition.

2. No. 1:05-CV-2075

On June 2, 2006, Citibank filed a motion for sanctions against Plaintiffs Annette and Steve Schaffhauser and their then-counsel, Attorney David Brady (Doc. 33) and a brief in support thereof (Doc. 34). The Schaffhausers and Brady filed a brief in opposition to the motion on June 19, 2006. (Doc. 39.) Citibank replied on June 29, 2006. (Doc. 42.) The parties were given leave to file additional briefing. (Docs. 45, 46, 48, 49.) On September 5, 2006, Brady was granted leave to withdraw as counsel for the Schaffhausers. On October 30, 2006, Goldhaber entered his appearance on behalf of the Schaffhausers. (Doc. 60.)

On January 7, 2007, Citibank filed a renewed motion for sanctions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, against the Schaffhausers and their counsel (Doc. 80), and a brief in support thereof (Doc. 81.) Brady opposed the motion on January 25, 2007. (Doc. 96.) Citibank filed a reply brief on February 5, 2007. (Doc. 100.) On April 2, 2007, after the initially-assigned judge recused and the case came to the undersigned, the Schaffhausers and Goldhaber were ordered to respond to Citibank's renewed motion for sanctions no later than April 13, 2007. (Doc. 105.) Neither the Schaffhausers nor Goldhaber responded to the second motion.

On November 8, 2007, this court granted Citibank's motion for sanctions. (Doc. 112.) Citibank was ordered to file affidavits demonstrating the expenses that had gone into its defense. Citibank did so on November 15, 2007. (Doc. 114.) After an order by the court to clarify the affidavits (Doc. 115), Citibank responded on December 19, 2007 (Doc. 117) and December 31, 2007 (Doc. 118). The court awarded sanctions to Citibank on January 2, 2008. (Doc. 119.) Goldhaber and Brady were sanctioned separately, with the Schaffhausers jointly and severally liable for the amounts assessed to their attorneys. On January 7, ...


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