United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS [DOC. #13]
SARAH A. L. MERRIAM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Paul A. Boyne (“movant”) has filed a motion for
sanctions. [Doc. #13]. The movant requests that the Court
impose various sanctions against Assistant United States
Attorney Anastasia E. King, FBI agent Lisa Tutty, United
States Attorney Deirdre Daly, and United States Magistrate
Judge Joan G. Margolis. See Id. at 4-5. For the
reasons set forth below, the movant's motion for
sanctions [Doc. #13] is
November 30, 2016, Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis signed
an application for a search warrant directed to Twitter,
Inc., for information associated with three Twitter handles.
See generally Doc. #1. On the same date, Judge Margolis
granted the government's application for a non-disclosure
order, and a motion to seal this case. See Doc. ##2, 5.
5, 2017, the movant filed a motion to unseal this case. [Doc.
On June 7, 2017, Judge Margolis granted the movant's
“Motion to Unseal, ” absent objection. See Doc.
#10. Judge Margolis later clarified in an endorsement order
issued on August 23, 2017, that although the movant's
motion had been granted as to the unsealing of the case, the
motion was “denied in all other respects regarding all
other requests in his motion.” Doc. #14 (emphasis in
27, 2017, the movant filed the motion for sanctions now under
consideration. [Doc. #13].
movant requests “the court to sanction players in this
case for violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, in
violation of the people's constitutional rights and
violation of personal oaths of office.” Doc. #13 at 1.
The movant seeks to invoke the “inherent power”
of this Court to “sanction the unscrupulous actors who
conspire to defeat the Constitution and its pesky
amendments.” Id. at 4. The movant requests
that the Court impose various sanctions against Assistant
United States Attorney King, Agent Tutty, United States
Attorney Daly, and Judge Margolis, including, inter alia,
that each pay a “fine of not less than $10,
000[.]” See Doc. #13 at 4-5. The movant also seeks
“[a]ny other patriotic remedies required to protect
liberty and to quash the tyrants[.]” Id. at 5.
movant alleges that the individuals identified have violated
the First Amendment by taking “[a]dverse governmental
action against the people in retaliation for the exercise of
protected speech[.]” Id. at 2. The movant also
appears to allege that the search warrant issued in this
matter was not supported by probable cause, but was issued in
response to “[p]ublic criticism of a public official[,
]” in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Id.
motion for sanctions fails for several reasons.
the movant appears to seek affirmative relief for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights. A motion for
sanctions filed in a criminal search warrant proceeding is
not the proper vehicle by which to redress alleged
constitutional violations. To the extent the movant believes
that his constitutional rights have been violated, the proper
means by which to address any such alleged violation(s) is by
filing a civil lawsuit. The movant has not done so.
the movant appears to seek damages from each of the
identified individuals in the form of a “fine.”
Money damages are not available in criminal proceedings, such
as the instant matter. See, e.g., Plonka v. Brown, 2
F. App'x 194, 197 n.3 (2d Cir. 2001); United States
v. Fogel, 494 F.Supp.2d 136, 139 n.5 (D. Conn. 2007);
United States v. Buczek, No. 09CR121S, 2010 WL
742195, at *1 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2010); Henderson v.
Heffler, No. 07CV0487C, 2008 WL 2915437, at *2 (W.D.N.Y.
July 24, 2008).
the movant, who is not a party to this matter, has no
standing to seek sanctions against the four individuals
identified in the motion. See, e.g., New York News, Inc.
v. Kheel, 972 F.2d 482, 486 (2d Cir. 1992) (holding
that, generally, a non-party lacks standing to seek Rule 11
to the extent the movant requests that this Court impose
sanctions pursuant to its “inherent authority, ”
the movant has not established any basis pursuant to which
the Court may properly invoke that authority. To impose
sanctions under the Court's inherent authority there must
be “clear evidence of bad faith characterized by a high
degree of specificity.” Rates Tech. Inc. v.
Broadvox Holding Co., LLC,56 F.Supp.3d 515, 529
(S.D.N.Y. 2014). Here, the movant provides no clear evidence
of bad faith, but rather relies on vague and conclusory
allegations in support of his requests for relief. This does
not satisfy the high standard justifying the imposition of
sanctions pursuant to the Court's inherent authority. See
Chambers v. NASCO, Inc.,501 U.S. 32, 44 (1991)
(“Because of their very potency, inherent powers ...