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Chapman v. Maxwell

Supreme Court of Montana

August 6, 2013

ALLISON CHAPMAN, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
LADONNA MAXWELL A.P.R.N., Defendant and Appellee.

ORDER

Allison Chapman (Chapman) has filed a motion for sanctions against the above-named Appellee and her counsel, Peter J. Stokstad (Stokstad). Based upon his alleged stated refusal to comply with M. R. App. P. 7, Chapman indicates that sanctions are warranted. Further, she indicates that opposing counsel has threatened her if she filed an appeal, and that the courts discriminate against self-represented litigants.

Appellee filed a response opposing the motion for sanctions, which indicates that Chapman's motion was not properly served, and counsel never received the final, signed document. Stokstad takes exception to Chapman's allegations that he and his client refuse to participate in mediation on the basis these representations are false, and that he does not intend to pay any money to resolve the matter.

Stokstad requests that we declare Chapman as a vexatious litigant pursuant to § 37-61 -421, MCA, and award Maxwell her costs and attorney fees in responding to the motion.

Chapman requested leave to file a response to Appellee's response. On July 30, 2013, we denied leave to file a response.

Having considered the matter, we conclude there is no basis for granting the motion for sanctions. Appellee and her counsel have stated that they will cooperate with the mediation process. The record indicates that Jerry W. Schuster was appointed as mediator on July 18, 2013. We trust that the parties will comply with M. R. App. P. 7 by participating in mediation at the direction of the mediator.

The matter of whether Chapman is a vexatious litigant will be held in abeyance and determined in the final disposition of this appeal.

IT IS ORDERED that the motion for sanctions is DENIED.

The Clerk is directed to provide a copy hereof to counsel of record and to Allison Chapman.


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