Friday, October 23, 2015

Frivolous appeal = $9K in sanctions

Image result for sanctionsToday's installment of "appellate sanctions" is brought to you by the First District, Div. 2, in a decision here that begins:
Appellant [] is described in respondent []’s brief as having been “a litigant in around 50 matters, mostly as plaintiff,”. . . “whose abnormal litigation pathology puts into context the questionable prosecution he maintained against [Respondent]”—a description [Appellant] does not dispute in his reply.
You can see where this is headed....
[O]n our own motion we assess sanctions in the amount of $9000 against [Appellant] and his counsel for pursuing an appeal that can only be described as frivolous.

The court supports that sum by noting:
[C]ourts have assessed sanctions on this basis in varying amounts. The following are illustrative:
  • Marriage of Economou (1990) 223 Cal.App.3d 97, 107–108 [sanction of $15,000 as “proper total cost to the state assignable to this case”].
  • Cohen v. General Motors Corp. (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 893, 897 [finding $5,908.26 to be cost of average civil appeal].
  • Collisson & Kaplan v. Hartunian (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1611, 1621 [assessing sanction of $10,000, because “[s]urely the cost to process an average appeal has risen[from $3,995] since 1987.”].
  • Pollock v. University of Southern Caliornia [sic]. (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 1416, 1434 [noting $5,908.26 as state’s cost to process average civil appeal in 2000].
Those cases are all years ago, and necessarily the cost today is much higher. Thus, we conclude, a sanction of $9000 is appropriate.