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Interface Security Systems, L.L.C. v. Edwards

April 11, 2006

INTERFACE SECURITY SYSTEMS, L.L.C., PLAINTIFF/COUNTER-DEFENDANT,
v.
JEFFREY R. EDWARDS, DEFENDANT/COUNTER-PLAINTIFF.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joe Billy McDADE United States District Judge

ORDER

On March 30, 2006, this Court entered an order in the above-captioned case denying three motions filed by Peter C. Fieweger ("Fieweger") on behalf of Jeffery R. Edwards ("Edwards"): (1) Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Motion to Vacate Arbitrator's Award [Doc. #31]; (2) Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs [Doc. #33]; and (3) Motion for Sanctions [Doc. #37]. See [Doc. #50, Ct. Order of March 30, 2006].

This Court concluded that all three motions were essentially frivolous, raising arguments that were completely devoid of any legal merit. In addition, Fieweger filed several responses in stark contradiction to the Local Rules of the Central District of Illinois. And, as if this wasn't enough, Fieweger also initiated a new lawsuit on behalf of Edwards on Aug. 5, 2005, in an Illinois state court, creating an additional layer of litigation in this case that appears to be completely unnecessary in light of the fact that this Court has retained jurisdiction over the instant matter. See Interface Sec. Sys., L.L.C. v. Edwards, No. 05-MR-421, (14th Cir. Ct. Rock Island County, IL).

As a result, Fieweger is ordered to appear before this Court on May 2, 2006, at 11:30 AM and "show cause" why he should not be subject to sanctions for the conduct described both above and below. See Johnson v. Cherry, 422 F.3d 540, 551 (7th Cir. 2005) (explaining that "before a court may impose sanctions sua sponte, it must give the offending party notice of its intent to do so and the opportunity to be heard"). The following discussion will briefly describe the specific conduct that this Court believes is subject to sanctions, as well as the legal basis upon which the Court may impose such sanctions. See id. (stating that "the offending party must be on notice of the specific conduct for which [he] is potentially subject to sanctions").

Based on the Court's analysis of the pleadings, motions, and other papers filed by Fieweger on behalf of Edwards in the instant case, along with the thorough analysis contained in the March 30 Order, it appears that the following conduct warrants the imposition of sanctions:

(1) unreasonably and vexatiously multiplying the proceedings by filing a motion to strike and dismiss Interface's Motion to Vacate the Arbitrator's Award, rather than simply filing a cross-motion to confirm the arbitration award in accordance with § 9 of the FAA;

(2) unreasonably and vexatiously multiplying the proceedings by filing a new lawsuit on behalf of Edwards in the 14th Judicial Circuit Court in Rock Island County, Illinois, despite this Court's jurisdiction over the instant matter;

(3) arguing that this Court was divested of subject matter jurisdiction over Edwards' counterclaim because the resulting arbitration award was for less than $75,001 and, therefore, the "amount-in-controversy" requirement had not been met;

(4) arguing that this Court never had subject matter jurisdiction over Edwards' counterclaim despite pleading in excess of the $75,000 "amount-in-controversy" requirement in both his original and amended complaints;

(5) pleading in bad faith damages in excess of $75,000 in both Edwards' original and amended complaints;

(6) arguing that this Court recognized all along that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Edwards' counterclaim, despite the Court's explicit instructions to the contrary retaining jurisdiction by staying the case and instructing the parties to return to this Court upon a final decision by the arbitrator;

(7) arguing that this Court lacked authority to review the arbitrator's decision under § 10 of the FAA;

(8) arguing that the FAA did not apply to the settlement agreement ("Stipulation") in which the parties' expressly agreed to binding arbitration of Edwards' counterclaim;

(9) arguing that Congress has placed all employment contracts outside the scope of the FAA, despite Supreme Court and Seventh ...


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