United States District Court, D. Colorado
ROBERTO FUENTES, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
KROENKE SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT, LLC, d/b/a Tickethorse, LLC, Defendant.
PHILIP A. BRIMMER, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on the Motion for Sanctions Pursuant to Rule 11 [Docket No. 65] filed by defendant Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC. Although plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed this case, Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 sanctions may be awarded "after the principal suit has been terminated." Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., 496 U.S. 384, 396 (1990).
On September 11, 2013, plaintiff Roberto Fuentes filed a complaint against Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ("WWE"), and the John Doe Defendants. Docket No. 1. Defendant owns or operates various entertainment venues in and around Denver, Colorado and sells tickets to events held in them. Id. Plaintiff generally claimed that, by including the phrase "[t]his ticket is non-transferable" as part of ticket terms and conditions, defendant placed an unlawful restriction on the resale rights of ticket purchasers in violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act ("CCPA"), Colo. Rev. Stat. § 6-1-718 et seq. Id. at 5, ¶¶ 15-18. Plaintiff brought this case as a class action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 and defined the class as "[a]ll persons in the United States who purchased a ticket to an event" at the Colorado venues owned or operated by defendant. Id. at 9-10, ¶ 41. Plaintiff asserted jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). Id. at 4, ¶ 12.
On October 25, 2013, defendant filed a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) [Docket No. 21] and a motion to deny class certification [Docket No. 22]. On January 10, 2014, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claims against WWE [Docket No. 54], and, on February 14, 2014, defendant filed the present motion. Docket No. 65. On April 9, 2014, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claims against the John Doe Defendants [Docket No. 76], leaving Kroenke as the sole remaining defendant. On June 2, 2014, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed this case without prejudice in its entirety. Docket No. 79. Defendant seeks sanctions pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 in the form of attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the defense of this case. Docket No. 65 at 1.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW___
Rule 11(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows: 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 circumstances:
(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.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b). "If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation." Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)(1).
A. CCPA ...