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Sanctions

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A federal court may award sanctions using civil procedures only if the sanctions are compensatory in nature, recompensing the harmed party for harm that was caused by (would not have occurred but for) the sanctioned party's sanctionable conduct.  For any sanctions beyond that or having a punitive or deterrent purpose, the court must employ criminal type of procedure with an… Read More

Under CCP 2023.010 and 2023.030, providing evasive or false discovery responses is a discovery abuse for which the court must grant the opposing party monetary sanctions unless it finds there was substantial justification for the discovery abuse or awarding sanctions would be unjust.  Here, the trial court found substantial abuse of discovery in providing false responses, but erroneously failed to… Read More

In reaction to San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1306, the Legisalture amended CCP 128.5 to require in subdivision (f) that the court first find a motion, complaint or other filing to be frvolous under subdivision (a) and then not award sanctions until after a 21-day safe harbor as under CCP 128.7.  This… Read More

Three principles govern the award of monetary sanctions for discovery abuse.  First, the court must award monetary sanctions against the loser of a discovery motion unless it finds that either the loser acted with substantial justification or imposition of sanctions would be unjust under the circumstances.  Second, the monetary sanctions may only be imposed based on attorney fees and costs… Read More

A sanctions motion under either CCP 128.5 & 128.7 must be served on the party from whom sanctions are sought at least 21 days before the motion is filed in court in order to give that party time to rectify the allegedly sanctionable conduct.  Read More

A trial court has inherent power to dismiss as frivolous plaintiff’s 31 proceedings against prominent persons whom he claimed were harassing him. Read More

Different deadlines apply to seeking double costs and attorney fees for a frivolous appeal under Fed. R. App. P. 38; a bill of costs must be filed within 14 days after the opinion is filed, but attorney fees may be sought within 14 days after the time for seeking rehearing expires. Read More

Exercising its inherent power, a federal court may award attorney fees as a sanction; however, unless criminal contempt procedures are followed, the sanction cannot exceed the amount of attorney fees the opposing party would not have incurred but for the sanctionable conduct.  Read More

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