Metz v. Unizan Bank, No. 09-3999 (6th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs Carol Metz and others filed a putative class action against fifty-five banks, including Fifth Third. The claims arose out of a Ponzi scheme involving bogus promissory notes. Five months later, attorney Daniel Morris filed a motion to intervene on behalf of his clients. Attached to the motion was a complaint similar to Metz's complaint except it was premised on promissory notes issued by different entities. The district court granted the motion to intervene. After the district court had dismissed Fifth Third with prejudice, Morris filed an intervenors' complaint against Fifth Third. The complaint was virtually identical to the complaint attached to the motion to intervene Morris filed earlier. The district court dismissed the claims with prejudice and granted Fifth Third's request for sanctions. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the imposition of sanctions, holding (1) the district court's imposition of sanctions under the bad faith standard was proper; (2) the record set forth sufficient evidence to support the district court's decision; (3) the district court properly sanctioned Morris under its inherent authority even though Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 also applied; (4) the district court did not deny Morris due process; and (5) the amount of fees awarded was not excessive.