Heimbaugh v. City & County of San Francisco

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

591 F.Supp. 1573 (N.D. Cal. 1984)

Under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), sanctions are proper against any litigant who files an action that is entirely unwarranted by existing law or a good faith argument for modification or extension of existing law.

Relevant Facts

Police arrested Robert Heimbaugh (the plaintiff) after the plaintiff refused to sign a citation for playing softball in a section of Golden Gate Park where softball was prohibited under the San Francisco Park Code §3.02. The plaintiff argued that his softball playing was “a statement about the right to democracy in recreation as opposed to elitism” and brought suit against the City and County of San Francisco and its actors (the defendants) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Additionally, the plaintiff requested a declaratory judgment, an injunction, and requested damages in tort. The court treated the action as having been brought under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Subsequently, the defendants motioned for summary judgment and requested reasonable attorneys’ fees under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 20, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

591 F.Supp. 1573 (N.D. Cal. 1984)