Rigsby, Rodney v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company et al
ORDER granting 220 Motion for Attorney Fees. Defendants Chris Miscik, Michael Riley and Axley Brynelson, LLP awarded attorney fees in the amount of $48,735 against plaintiffs Rodney Rigsby, Catherine Conrad and Quincy Neri and an additional & #036;11,025 against plaintiff Rigsby. Plaintiff Conrad is ENJOINED from filing additional lawsuits in this court until she pays her debts related to this case and all other cases she filed in this court in the past. The clerk of court is directed to enter an amended judgment accordingly. Signed by District Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 4/24/2015. (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - RODNEY RIGSBY, CATHERINE CONRAD
and QUINCY M. NERI,
CHRIS MISCIK, BRUCE BERNDT, BERNDT, CPA,
MICHAEL RILEY and AXLEY BRYNELSON, LLP,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Two issues are before the court. First, in an order dated March 10, 2015, I found
that plaintiffs’ claims for violations of the federal copyright law, breach of contract and
breach of fiduciary duty were legally frivolous. Dkt. #218. Because plaintiff Catherine
Conrad had been warned previously by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for
filing frivolous cases, Conrad v. AM Community Credit Union, 750 F.3d 634 (7th Cir.
2014), I directed her to show cause why this court should not enjoin her from filing
additional lawsuits in this court until she satisfies her federal court debts. Support Systems
International Inc. v. Mack, 45 F.3d 185 (7th Cir. 1995). Plaintiff Conrad has not responded
to that order, so I am entering the injunction.
The second issue is the motion filed by defendants Chris Miscik, Michael Riley and
Axley Brynelson, LLP for attorney fees under 17 U.S.C. § 505 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 11. Dkt.
In support of their motion, defendants note that they have a “presumptive
entitlement” to fees related to the copyright claim. Assessment Techs., LLC v. WIREdata,
Inc., 361 F.3d 434, 437 (7th Cir. 2004). In addition, they argue that they are entitled to
fees on all of the claims under Rule 11 because plaintiffs’ claims are frivolous and defendants
gave plaintiffs an opportunity to withdraw all of their claims in February 2013, but plaintiffs
refused to do that. Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 (b) and (c) (party make seek sanctions for filing
frivolous claims if it gives the other party 21 days to withdraw claims). Finally, defendants
request a judgment on fees awarded against plaintiff Rigsby in previous orders in this case.
They ask for $48,735 in fees against all plaintiffs and an additional $11,025 in fees against
Rigsby for sanctions awarded in previous orders.
In response, plaintiffs do not rebut the presumption that defendants are entitled to
fees for the copyright claim and they make no showing that any of their claims are not
frivolous. Although they continue to argue that defendants violated plaintiffs’ copyright and
breached their contract, they still point to no evidence to support either of those
With respect to the reasonableness of defendants’ fees, plaintiffs’ only argument is
that defendants “dragged out this litigation by not settling sooner,” but defendants had no
obligation to settle claims that had no merit. It is plaintiffs who needlessly delayed the
resolution of this case by insisting on pursuing claims that they should have known they
could not prove.
Because I agree with defendants that all of plaintiffs’ claims are frivolous and that
defendants’ fees are reasonable, I am granting their motion in full.
The filing bar against plaintiff Conrad will apply until she shows that she has paid the
fees awarded in this case, as well as the fees and costs awarded in Conrad v. Bendwald, No.
11-cv-305-bbc (W.D. Wis. Nov. 2, 2012), and the filing fees that plaintiff Conrad owes for
each of the cases that she has filed in this court. Conrad v. Batz, No. 13-cv-475-bbc (W.D.
Wis.); Conrad v. AM Community Credit Union, No. 13-cv-461-bbc (W.D. Wis.); Conrad
v. Bell, Moore & Richter, S.C., No. 11-cv-539-bbc (W.D. Wis.); Conrad v. Russell, No. 11cv-570-bbc (W.D. Wis. ); Conrad v. Westport Marine, Inc., No. 09-cv-49-bbc (W.D. Wis.);
Conrad v. Madison Festivals, Inc., No. 09-cv-499-bbc (W.D. Wis.); Conrad v. Isthmus
Publishing, Inc., No. 09-cv-566-bbc (W.D. Wis.). If Conrad files a new complaint without
showing that she has satisfied her debts, the clerk of court will docket the complaint, but the
court will take no action on it and it will be deemed dismissed 30 days after it is filed.
Alexander v. United States, 121 F.3d 312, 315 (7th Cir. 1997). If Conrad joins a lawsuit
with other plaintiffs, she will be dismissed from the case in the absence of a showing that she
has paid her debts. The filing bar does not apply to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
or a case in which Conrad alleges that she is in imminent danger of serious physical injury.
IT IS ORDERED that
1. The motion for attorney fees filed by Chris Miscik, Michael Riley and Axley
Brynelson, LLP, dkt. #220, is GRANTED. These defendants are AWARDED $48,735 in
fees against plaintiffs Rodney Rigsby, Catherine Conrad and Quincy Neri and an additional
$11,025 against plaintiff Rigsby.
2. Plaintiff Conrad is ENJOINED from filing additional lawsuits in this court until
she pays her debts related to this case and all other cases she filed in this court in the past.
3. The clerk of court is directed to enter an amended judgment accordingly.
Entered this 24th day of April, 2015.
BY THE COURT:
BARBARA B. CRABB
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