to him at his pretrial conference is a strange proposition indeed. Nowhere in plaintiff's voluminous papers is there any authority supporting plaintiff's position. Nor does logic support such a result. Accordingly, this Court declines to grant a new trial based on some purported violation of Rule 16.
B. Imposition of Sanctions
Defendants ask this Court to sanction Baasch for bringing this vexatious motion. Although pro se parties are held to a more lenient standard than professional counsel, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652, 92 S. Ct. 594 (1972), nothing prevents a court from imposing Rule 11 sanctions on a pro se litigant who has not complied with the guidelines set forth in Rule 11. Burnett v. Grattan, 468 U.S. 42, 50, n.13, 82 L. Ed. 2d 36, 104 S. Ct. 2924 (1984).
Rule 11 provides that sanctions may be imposed on a party who interposes any motion for an improper purpose, "such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation." Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 11. Under the Rule, attorneys and unrepresented parties must sign all motions, thereby certifying that "to the best of the signer's knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law. . . ." Id. In his motion for a new trial, Baasch set forth no facts or legal arguments which he could reasonably assume would entitle him to a new trial.
Although not an attorney, Baasch has shown some competence in finding and understanding the law. Moreover, when directing the verdict against him and at the earlier sanctions hearing, this Court explained to Baasch why his claims failed. Thus, Baasch was made fully aware of the legal and factual requirements of his claims. Yet, despite this knowledge, Baasch brought on this motion for a new trial, which in no way raises any factual or legal argument which could justify the relief sought. Under circumstances such as these, it is not improper to sanction Baasch. See Cornett v. Bank of New York, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5140, 1992 WL 88197, *6 (S.D.N.Y.)(since "plaintiff has shown an ability to find the law and make legal arguments . . . he may be held to a somewhat higher standard than other pro se parties").
This Court finds that Baasch interposed the instant motion for the sole purpose of harassing defendants and needlessly increasing the costs of this litigation. This Court had previously warned Baasch in clear and unmistakable terms that his underlying action was frivolous. Indeed, this Court seriously considered imposing sanctions against Baasch after the termination of the trial. This Court declined to sanction Baasch then only because of his pro se status.
This Court is now of the view that Baasch's status as a pro se litigant should not insulate him from the imposition of sanctions. Where, as here, a Court clearly places a pro se litigant on notice that his or her practice is sanctionable, the pro se litigant cannot be heard to complain that sanctions ought not be imposed because he or she is pro se. Such a result is unfair to the pro se litigant's adversary. Here, besides having to bear the expense of going to trial, defendants have been required to defend against a post-trial motion that is patently untenable. Consequently, this Court now grants defendants' motion for sanctions pursuant to Rule 11. Defendants have 30 days after entry of this order to schedule a hearing to determine the amount of sanctions that will be imposed against Baasch.
For the above-stated reasons, plaintiff's motion for a new trial is denied. Defendants' motion for sanctions is granted. Defendants have 30 days from entry of this order to schedule a hearing to determine the amount of sanctions that will be imposed against Baasch.
LEONARD D. WEXLER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: Hauppauge, New York
August 10, 1993