United States District Court, D. Arizona
Leslie E. Orman, Petitioner,
Central Loan Administration & Reporting, et al., Respondents.
DOMINIC W. LANZA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are the “Motion to Vacate Arbitration
Award Or, in the Alternative, to Dismiss for Improper Venue
and Request for Sanctions” by CitiMortgage, Inc.
(“CMI”) (Doc. 13), the “Motion to Vacate
Arbitration Award Or, in the Alternative, to Dismiss for
Improper Venue and Request for Sanctions” by Central
Loan Administration & Reporting (“Cenlar”),
which appears to have been filed three times (Docs. 15, 16,
17), the “Application for Withdrawal” by
Petitioner's counsel, Jeremy Claridge (âCounselâ) (Doc.
18), and Petitioner's âResponse and Motion to Strike
Respondents' Pleadings As Frivolous and Motion for
Confirmation of Arbitration Awardâ (Doc. 19). The Court will
address the motion to strike and the application to withdraw
as counsel of record.
Motion To Strike
to LRCiv 7.2(m), “[u]nless made at trial, a motion to
strike may be filed only if it is authorized by statute or
rule, such as Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(f),
26(g)(2) or 37(b)(2)(A)(iii), or if it seeks to strike any
part of a filing or submission on the ground that it is
prohibited (or not authorized) by a statute, rule, or court
order.” Petitioner does not identify any statute or
rule that would authorize her motion to strike, nor does she
suggest that Respondents' motions are prohibited (or not
authorized) by statute, rule, or court order.
Petitioner's filing offers only arguments as to why the
motions should be denied, not as to why they should be
struck. Thus, Petitioner's motion to strike is
to Petitioner's motion to strike, the Court notes that
Cenlar appears to have filed the same motion three times, and
the three filings appear to be identical. (Docs. 15, 16, 17.)
The Court assumes this was an error. Thus, for the sake of
clarity, the Court will strike two of the three identical
motions (Docs. 16 and 17) and leave only the first one (Doc.
15) pending. The Clerk of Court shall update the docket such
that the title of the filing at Doc. 15 reflects the full
title of the motion.
Motion To Withdraw
motion to withdraw as counsel for Petitioner was filed on the
heels of two motions for sanctions against both Petitioner
August 15, 2019, CMI filed a request for sanctions, averring:
[T]here was no legitimate justification for Orman's
attorney's decision to initiate these proceedings and
force CMI into Court to address an arbitration award that, on
its face, clearly lacked any valid legal basis. No.
reasonable attorney, proceeding as he is required to proceed
under Rule 11, could have looked at Orman's Proposal and
believed it provided any basis on which to conduct an
arbitration and/or render an award.
(Doc. 13 at 10.)
bases its request for attorneys' fees on three grounds:
(1) Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, (2) 28
U.S.C. § 1927, and (3) the Court's “inherent
authority” to award fees when a party has acted
“in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly, or for oppressive
reasons.” Id. (quoting Hall v. Cole,
412 U.S. 1, 5 (1973)). At least one of those grounds (§
1927) applies only to Counsel, and to the extent CMI seeks
fees pursuant to Rule 11(b)(2), that ground also applies only
to Counsel. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)(5)(A).
August 27, 2019, Cenlar also filed a request for sanctions,
seeking attorneys' fees from both Petitioner and Counsel
and citing the same three legal bases as CMI. (Doc. 15 at
August 30, 2019, Counsel filed a motion to withdraw as
counsel for Petitioner with Petitioner's signed consent.
(Doc. 18). Counsel stated that “to effectively advocate
her claims . . . and to efficiently defend herself from the
bold allegations made by Respondents, it is imperative ...