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Case 3:16-cv-00515-SMH-JPM Document 84 Filed 08/16/16 Page 1 of 13 PageID #: 2084

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
MONROE DIVISION
JUDGE SHARON INGRAM
MARCHMAN
Plaintiff

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CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:16-cv-0515
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JUDGE S. MAURICE HICKS
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VERSUS
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MAGISTRATE PEREZ-MONTES
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BRIAN E. CRAWFORD;
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JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
LAWRENCE W. PETTIETTE, JR.;
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JAMES D. BUDDY CALDWELL;
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JON K. GUICE;
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JUDGE CARL V. SHARP;
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JUDGE FREDERIC C. AMMAN;
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JUDGE J. WILSON RAMBO;
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JUDGE BENJAMIN JONES; and
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ALLYSON CAMPBELL
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Defendants
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MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO
ALLYSON CAMPBELLS MOTION FOR SANCTIONS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES .......................................................................................................... ii
I.

INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................................1

II.

LEGAL STANDARDS FOR APPLICATION OF RULE 11 .............................................2

III.

LEGAL STANDARDS FOR APPLICATION OF 1927 ..................................................3

IV.

ARGUMENT .......................................................................................................................4

V.

A.

Violation of Rule 11.................................................................................................4

B.

Violation of 1927 ...................................................................................................8

CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................................9

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TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
Cases:

Page

Brubaker v. City of Richmond, 943 F.2d 1361, 1378 (4th Cir. 1991)...............................................3
Cambridge Toxicology Group, Inc. v. Exnicios.
495 F.3d 169, 180-81 (5th Cir. 2007) ...............................................................................................4
Edwards v. General Motors Corp.,
153 F.3d 242, 246 (5th Cir. 1998) ....................................................................................................4
F.D.I.C. v. Calhoun,
34 F.3d 1291, 1297, 1300-1391 (5th Cir. 1994) ...............................................................................4
F.D.I.C. v. Conner,
20 F.3d 1376, 1384 (5th Cir. 1994) ..................................................................................................4
Gonzales v. Fresenius Medical Care North America,
689 F.3d 470, 479 (5th Cir. 2012) ....................................................................................................4
Jennings v. Joshua Indep. Sch. Dist.,
948 F.2d 194, 197 (5th Cir. 1991) ....................................................................................................2
LaSalle Natl Bank of Chicago v. County of DuPage,
10 F.3d 1333, 1338 (7th Cir. 1993) ..................................................................................................3
Marceaux v. Lafayette City-Parish Consol. Government,
14 F.Supp. 3d 760, 766 (W.D. La. 2014).....................................................................................2, 3
Proctor & Gamble Co. v. Amway Corp.,
280 F.3d 519, 526 (5th Cir. 2002) ....................................................................................................4
Ratcliff v. Stewart, 508 F.3d 225, 234 (5th Cir. 2007) ......................................................................4
Skidmore Energy, Inc. v. KPMG, 455 F.3d 564, 566 (5th Cir. 2006).......................................2, 3, 7
Smith v. Our Lady of the Lake Hosp., Inc.,
960 F.2d 439, 444 (5th Cir. 1992) ....................................................................................................2
Thomas v. Capital Security Services, Inc..,
836 F.2d 866, 874 (5th Cir. 1988)(en banc) .................................................................................2, 3

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Statutes:

Page

F.R.C.P. Rule 11(b)..................................................................................................................2, 3, 4


F.R.C.P. Rule 11(c)(2) .....................................................................................................................3
28 U.S.C. 1927 .......................................................................................................................1, 4, 8

Secondary Sources:
5A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller
Federal Practice and Procedure 1336 (2d ed. 2003) .....................................................................3

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MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT:


I.

Introduction:
Defendant, Allyson Campbell (Campbell), has filed a Motion for Sanctions against

Plaintiff, Judge Sharon Ingram Marchman (Judge Marchman), and her counsel for alleged
violation of F.R.C.P. 11 and counsels alleged violation of 28 U.S.C. 1927 related to the filing
of the Complaint1 and Amended Complaint.2 In support of her motion, Campbell adopts her
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss. She then mainly complains about the alleged failure
of Judge Marchman and her counsel to notify the Court of the Inspector Generals April 15, 2016
letter which, according to Campbell, stated that the allegations of document destruction and
payroll fraud were unfounded.3 Campbell relies on this letter to argue, once again, that Judge
Marchman has no cause of action against her and that Judge Marchman and her counsel should
be sanctioned.
Out of an abundance of caution, Judge Marchman will address the Inspector General
letter as well as the full State Police report below. However, the issue before the Court should be
whether the filing of the Complaint or Amended Complaint in any way was violative of Rule 11
or 1927. The merits of the pleadings have been discussed at length in several memoranda filed
by Plaintiff in opposition to Defendants motions to dismiss, which she adopts by reference as if
copied herein in extenso. Plaintiffs alleged facts are true, and her legal claims are based on solid
authority.

Doc. 1.
Doc. 22.
3
Doc. 82-1, p. 6.
2

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II.

Legal Standards for Application of Rule 11


Rule 11(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that an attorney who presents

a pleading, written motion, or other paper to the court certifies that to the best of his or her
knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is not being presented for an 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 lack of information.
Compliance with Rule 11 is judged by an objective standard of reasonableness under the
circumstances.

Jennings v. Joshua Indep. Sch. Dist., 948 F.2d 194, 197 (5th Cir. 1991).

Reasonableness is reviewed according to the snapshot rule, focusing upon the instant the
attorney fixes his signature to the document. Smith v. Our Lady of the Lake Hosp., Inc., 960
F.2d 439, 444 (5th Cir. 1992) (citing Thomas v. Capital Sec. Servs., 836 F.2d 866, 874 (5th Cir.
1988)(en banc)); Skidmore Energy, Inc. v. KPMG, 455 F.3d 564, 566 (5th Cir. 2006); Marceaux
v. Lafayette City-Parish Consol. Government, 14 F.Supp. 3d 760, 766 (W.D. La. 2014).
In determining whether an individual has complied with his or her obligations of
reasonable inquiry into the facts and law, the court may look to a number of factors:
The determination of whether a reasonable inquiry into the facts has been made in
a case will, of course, be dependent upon the particular facts; however, the district
court may consider such factors as the time available to the signer for
investigation; the extent of the attorneys reliance upon his client for the factual
support for the document; the feasibility of a prefiling investigation; whether the
signing attorney accepted the case from another member of the bar or forwarding
attorney; the complexity of the factual and legal issues; and the extent to which
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development of the factual circumstances underlying the claim requires discovery.


As to the determination of whether a reasonable inquiry into the law has been
made, a district court may consider the time available to the attorney to prepare
the document; the plausibility of the legal view contained in the document; the
pro se status of a litigant; and the complexity of the legal and factual issues raised.
Marceaux, 14 F.Supp. 3d at 766 (quoting Thomas v. Capital Security Services, Inc., 836 F.2d
866, 875 76 (5th Cir. 1988)(en banc)).
[T]he imposition or denial of sanctions of necessity involves a fact-intensive inquiry into
the circumstances surrounding the activity alleged to be a violation of Rule 11. Skidmore
Energy, Inc. v. KPMG, 455 F.3d 564, 566 (5th Cir. 2006)(quoting Thomas, 836 F.2d at 873).
Because Rule 11 is not intended to chill an attorneys enthusiasm or creativity in pursuing
factual or legal theories, an attorney need not advance a winning argument to avoid Rule 11
sanctions. LaSalle Natl Bank of Chicago v. County of DuPage, 10 F.3d 1333, 1338 (7th Cir.
1993) (quoting Brubaker v. City of Richmond, 943 F.2d 1363, 1378 (4th Cir. 1991)).
A motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must
describe the specific conduct that allegedly violates Rule 11(b).

F.R.C.P. 11(c)(2).

The

Advisory Committee Notes explain that a Rule 11 motion should not be employed as a
discovery device or to test the legal sufficiency of efficacy of allegations in the pleadings; other
motions are available for those purposes. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11 Advisory Committees Notes (1993
Amendments). Rule 11 should not be used to raise the issues of legal sufficiency that more
properly can be disposed of by a motion to dismiss, a motion for a more definite statement, or a
motion for summary judgment. 5A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice
and Procedure 1336 (2d ed. 2003).
III.

Legal Standards for Application of 1927 Sanctions


In Marceaux, 14 F.Supp. 3d 760, this Court succinctly set forth the legal standards for the

application of sanctions under 1927:


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Under 28 U.S.C. 1927, sanctions may be imposed against an attorney who so


multiplies the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously. In order to
impose sanctions under 1927, the court must find evidence of bad faith,
improper motive, or reckless disregard of the duty owed to the court. Gonzales
v. Fresenius Medical Care North America, 689 F.3d 470, 479 (5th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Edwards v. General Motors Corp., 153 F.3d 242, 246 (5th Cir. 1998)).
The court must make detailed factual findings that the actions of counsel in
multiplying the proceedings were both unreasonable and vexatious, the latter of
which requires a showing of improper purpose. F.D.I.C. v. Calhoun, 34 F.3d
1291, 1297, 1300-1301 (5th Cir. 1994); F.D.I.C. v. Conner, 20 F.3d 1376, 1384
(5th Cir. 1994). However, when an attorneys conduct is so obviously
unreasonable that a court can infer an improper purpose from the fact that the
attorney persisted in it, it is unnecessary for the court to explain at length why the
vexatiousness prong has been met. Ratcliff v. Stewart, 508 F.3d 225, 234 (5th
Cir. 2007). . . .
The courts factual findings must (1) identify sanctionable conduct and
distinguish it from the reasons for deciding the case on the merits, (2) link the
sanctionable conduct to the size of the sanctions, and (3) differentiate between
sanctions awarded under different statutes. Proctor & Gamble Co. v. Amway
Corp., 280 F.3d 519, 526 (5th Cir. 2002); Cambridge Toxicology Group, Inc. v.
Exnicios, 495 F.3d 169, 180-81 (5th Cir. 2007).
IV.

Argument
A.

Violation of Rule 11

Campbell states that the basis of her request for Rule 11 sanctions is that the plaintiff
attorneys have violated Rule 11(b)(1), (2) and (3) by filing in this court the legally and factually
baseless Original Complaint and Supplemented, Amended and Restated Complaint with the
intent to harass Campbell and the other defendants and needlessly increase the cost of
litigation.4 Campbell then discusses the case of Palowsky v. Campbell, a suit filed in state court
in which Judge Marchman is not a party. She then states that
Perhaps the most disturbing of the misrepresentations . . . involves the failure by
the plaintiff attorneys to make any mention of the fact that the Louisiana Inspector
General and the Louisiana State Police conducted an investigation of the payroll
fraud and document destruction allegations against Campbell which resulted in an
April 15, 2016 letter by the Louisiana Inspector General that the allegations were

Doc. 82-1, p. 5.
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unfounded and that his file would be closed without recommending criminal
action against Campbell.5
First, neither Judge Marchman nor undersigned counsel ever saw this document until it was
leaked to the newspaper and published on May 12, 2016.6
With reference to the letter itself, it should be noted that the contents of the letter are
directly at odds with the finding of the report of the Louisiana State Police with its attachments.
The August 18, 2014 letter from Cody Rials to Laura Hartt, for example, establishes the
complaint that Campbell destroyed court records,7 not that Campbell had made remarks about
Rials abilities as a lawyer and his alleged failure to pay court costs as she misrepresented to the
state police in her interview.8

More specifically, his letter to Laura Hartt proves that his

complaint arose after he was told by another attorney, Joseph Joey Grassi, that Campbell had
taken great pleasure in shredding a proposed judgment he had submitted in a matter pending
in 2012.9
Moreover, the letter from the Chief Judge of the Fourth JDC to Campbell dated
September 17, 2014 establishes the fact that Campbell hid 52 post-conviction relief petitions,
some for years.10 Contrast these documents attached to the State Police report (which has now
been made public by the Attorney General and has been published by the media) with the IGs
letter wherein it is reported that Ms. Campbell was interviewed and denied destroying or hiding
any court records or pleadings.11

Doc. 82-1, p. 6.
Judge Marchman has spoken to Chief Judge Winters to determine why the Inspector Generals letter was not
provided to her if it was, in fact, delivered to the Fourth Judicial District judiciary on or about April 15, 2016, as
represented by Defendant Brian Crawford in his Motion for Sanctions. Judge Winters told Judge Marchman that he
did not see the letter until it was published by the media on May 12, 2016.
7
Doc. 71, Exhibit C, filed under seal, Attachment 2, p. 4.
8
These comments from Campbell are in the recording of her interview with the State Police, which has not been
transcribed.
9
Doc. 71, Exhibit C, filed under seal, Attachment 2, p. 4.
10
Doc. 71, Exhibit C, filed under seal, Attachment 4, p. 25.
11
Doc. 32-15.
6

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The IGs letter is also at odds with internal documentation to which Judge Marchman was
privy, including Exhibit A to her amended complaint.12 This memorandum from Laura Hartt
directly contradicts any assertion that there is insufficient evidence to prove Campbell was being
paid while away from the courthouse.13 Moreover, although Judge Marchman did not receive
the State Police report until recently, a review of the report with attachments confirms the
allegations she has made even though the Attorney Generals office recently concluded that it did
not have enough admissible evidence for a conviction which would be upheld on appeal. Simply
because the Attorney General decided that it could not obtain a lasting criminal conviction, that
certainly does not mean that Judge Marchmans allegations as to Campbell and civil liability
arising from Campbells actions are unfounded, much less sanctionable.
Further, in adopting her Motion to Dismiss, Campbell is reiterating her claim of absolute
immunity which was premised on her argument that all her actions of document destruction and
payroll fraud were judicial in nature. Nonetheless, Campbells fellow defendant, Judge Carl V.
Sharp stated on the record in the matter of Lee v. Dhaliwahl, Docket No. 14-2600 that
Campbells actions were part of a personnel matter.14

Judge Sharp specifically stated as

follows:
Just give me a moment. Investigation. Its so formal. You know, we don't have
an investigatory agency here. I never even heard the word investigation with
anything dealing with our personnel matters until recently.15
Ironically, Judge Sharp took this position a mere three days before his counsel, Defendant Jon
Guice, argued in the matter of Palowsky v. Campbell, Docket No. 15-2170, to Judge Jerome J.

12

Doc. 22-1.
Moreover, even if Judge Marchman had had the Inspector Generals letter in her possession regarding the pursuit
of criminal charges against Campbell, the finding would not be relevant in this civil suit. The burden of proof in a
criminal prosecution and a civil suit is quite different. A criminal prosecutor has to prove facts beyond a reasonable
doubt, and a civil litigant need only prove facts by a preponderance of the evidence.
14
Exhibit A, p. 47, ln. 21 25, November 2, 2015 transcript in Lee v. Dhaliwahl, Docket No. 14-2600.
15
Id. (emphasis added).
13

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Barbera, III, that Campbells actions were judicial in nature, not administrative. Regardless,
Judge Sharps statement that Campbells actions were personnel matters proves Judge
Marchmans position that neither Campbell nor Defendants Judges have immunity for liability
arising out of Campbells actions since her actions, and the cover-up of same, involved
administrative actions, not judicial ones. At the very least, Judge Marchman and her counsel
should not be sanctioned for making allegations that Campbell enjoys no immunity for her
actions.
In short, Campbell complains that Judge Marchmans allegations are false and then cites
Skidmore Energy, wherein the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court, who found that there was
a puzzling lack of legal or factual support articulated for the pleadings, and that plaintiffs
failed to articulate any evidentiary support for their claims.16 Id. at 568. Campbell fails to
explain how Skidmore Energy is relevant when her real complaint is that she disagrees with the
articulated facts and the inevitable conclusions to which they point.
Essentially, Campbells motion is an extension of her 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) Motion to
Dismiss where she continues to argue that all her actions were judicial in nature and where she
refuses to accept the well-pled allegations as true for purposes of the motion. As stated in the
Advisory Committees Notes to Rule 11, a motion for sanctions should not be used to raise the
issue of legal sufficiency . . . . Thus, an issue of fact should not be decided by a motion for
sanctions or by a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.
As the Fifth Circuit has stated, the imposition or denial of sanctions of necessity
involves a fact-intensive inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the activity alleged to be a
violation of Rule 11. Skidmore Energy, Inc., 455 F.3d at 566. Accordingly, Campbells motion
should only be decided after discovery is complete and after a full hearing is had on the sanctions
16

Id. at 568.
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issue. Indeed, when discovery is complete, the fact that Campbell committed every act of which
Judge Marchman complained will be an uncontested fact, and this Courts decision on the
sanctions motions filed by Campbell as well as her attorney Crawford, should be easy to make.
Judge Marchman has thoroughly set forth the facts of this case and the law that supports
the causes of action against Campbell (as well as all the defendants) in her oppositions to the
defendants multiple motions to dismiss. There is no violation of Rule 11 and no justification for
filing this motion.
B.

Violation of 1927

Campbell alleges that Judge Marchmans counsel has violated 1927 by unreasonably
and vexatiously multiplying these proceedings.17 She also argues that [n]o actual facts are
alleged to support plaintiff Judge Marchmans legal theories against Campbell for civil rights
violations.18 Campbells argument is predicated on her belief that the April 15, 2016 IGs letter
stated that the allegations against her of payroll fraud and document destruction were
unfounded and that Judge Marchman had the IGs letter report in her possession four days
before suit was filed. As noted above, the IGs letter in no way clears Campbell of anything.
The State Police report and its attachments, along with Judge Sharps comments on the record in
the Daliwahl matter, contain information which confirms Judge Marchmans allegations. But
again, this is Campbells argument on the facts of the case, which is not proper in the context of
a motion for sanctions.
Moreover, Judge Marchman has merely filed a complaint and amended complaint.
Defendants have responded with multiple motions to dismiss pursuant to 12(b)(6) and motions
for sanctions. Judge Marchman has, in turn, responded to these motions. Judge Marchman has

17
18

Doc. 82-1, p. 9.
Id.
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undertaken no attempt whatsoever to multiply the proceedings. She has stated causes of action
against the defendants and has presented the law for her position in the opposition memoranda
filed. In order to impose sanctions, under existing law, the Court must find that the actions of
counsel in multiplying the proceedings were both unreasonable and vexatious, the latter of which
requires a showing of improper purpose. Here, there is no showing whatsoever that counsel has
multiplied the proceedings unreasonably or has done so for an improper purpose.
V.

Conclusion
For the foregoing reasons, Campbells Motion for Sanctions under Rule 11 and 1927

must be denied.
Respectfully submitted:
/s/ Joseph R. Ward, Jr.
JOSEPH R. WARD, JR. (T.A.)(Bar #08166)
WARD & CONDREY, LLC
409 E. Boston Street, Suite 200
Covington, Louisiana 70433
Telephone: (985) 871-5223
Facsimile: (985) 871-5234
E-Mail: jward@wardandcondrey.com
-andSEDRIC E. BANKS #02730
Attorney at Law
1038 North Ninth Street
Monroe, La. 71201
Telephone: (318) 388-1655
Facsimile: (318) 388-0227
E-Mail: sedbanks@aol.com
Attorneys for Plaintiff, Judge Sharon Ingram
Marchman

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on August 16, 2016, I presented the foregoing Memorandum in
Opposition to Motion for Sanctions to the Clerk of Court for filing and uploading to the CM/ECF
system.
/s/ Joseph R. Ward, Jr.
Joseph R. Ward, Jr.

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