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LawBeagle
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Is there anything about the following complaint that warrants

Resolved Question:

Is there anything about the following complaint that warrants sanctions against the attorney filing it?

(i) Review pursuant to Article 78, mandamus undoing conveyance to Town (granted through preliminary judgment)

(ii) Declaratory judgment, deed is void because Ricky was incompetent at time of foreclosure (granted through preliminary judgment)

(iii) Violations of 42 U.S.C. §1983, wrongful withholding of wages so that Ricky could not pay taxes and wrongful taking of property without due process (somewhat silent preliminary judgment)

(iv) Violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, Failure to allow Ricky to redeem the premises by paying the taxes which were simultaneously withheld from ricky (silent)

(v) Conspiracy by all defendants, the lawyers from Town and the Town and the tax assessors office knew of Ricky's schizophrenia and purposely schemed to take his property away through color of law (silent)

Violation of the labor law Section 190 et, seg. by failing to pay Ricky

(vi) Breach of fiduciary duty by the Town, obligation to pay Ricky

and

(vii) Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief; (money damages and punitive damages in excess of 30,000,000.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawBeagle replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

 

On the face of what you have written, there is no reason to believe that sanctions would be granted. In New York, attorney sanctions are governed by NYCRR Section 130-1.1, which I have copied for you below. I will highlight relevant sections for you that will help you evaluate whether you could prove in a motion what is necessary in order to get an award for costs or sanctions.

 

Section 130-1.1 Costs; sanctions.

(a) The court, in its discretion, may award to any party or attorney in any civil action or proceeding before the court, except where prohibited by law, costs in the form of reimbursement for actual expenses reasonably incurred and reasonable attorney's fees, resulting from frivolous conduct as defined in this Part. In addition to or in lieu of awarding costs, the court, in its discretion may impose financial sanctions upon any party or attorney in a civil action or proceeding who engages in frivolous conduct as defined in this Part, which shall be payable as provided in section 130-1.3 of this Part. This Part shall not apply to town or village courts, to proceedings in a small claims part of any court, or to proceedings in the Family Court commenced under Article 3, 7 or 8 of the Family Court Act.

(b) The court, as appropriate, may make such award of costs or impose such financial sanctions against either an attorney or a party to the litigation or against both. Where the award or sanction is against an attorney, it may be against the attorney personally or upon a partnership, firm, corporation, government agency, prosecutor's office, legal aid society or public defender's office with which the attorney is associated and that has appeared as attorney of record. The award or sanctions may be imposed upon any attorney appearing in the action or upon a partnership, firm or corporation with which the attorney is associated.

(c) For purposes of this Part, conduct is frivolous if:

(1) it is completely without merit in law and cannot be supported by a reasonable argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law;

(2) it is undertaken primarily to delay or prolong the resolution of the litigation, or to harass or maliciously injure another; or

(3) it asserts material factual statements that are false.

 

THIS IS BASICALLY THE ELEMENTS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE TO SHOW.

 

Frivolous conduct shall include the making of a frivolous motion for costs or sanctions under this section. In determining whether the conduct undertaken was frivolous, the court shall consider, among other issues the (1) circumstances under which the conduct took place, including the time available for investigating the legal or factual basis of the conduct; and (2) whether or not the conduct was continued when its lack of legal or factual basis was apparent, should have been apparent, or was brought to the attention of counsel or the party.

(d) An award of costs or the imposition of sanctions may be made either upon motion in compliance with CPLR 2214 or 2215 or upon the court's own initiative, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The form of the hearing shall depend upon the nature of the conduct and the circumstances of the case.

 

Thank you - I hope my answer has been informative for you. If it has, please hit the green Accept button so I can receive credit for my response. I am happy to answer follow up questions. Have a great day!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The only thing I was somewhat aware of was that Law Firm sued attorneys for town because the Lawyers did know of Ricky's disability and didn't disclose it to the court. At that time, I remember that without an evidentiary hearing about his competency, it could not be found by the court. So what I am trying to say is that all the lawyers until this sanctioned attorney stepped in was not aware that you needed that evedenciary hearing. Could that be the problem?
Expert:  LawBeagle replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

 

Unless the claims in the pleading are false, or meet the other requirements of the statute, sanctions will not lie. However, it sounds like, if the things in the pleading are true, that there could be come attorneys who have committed ethical violations on one side or malpractice on the other by either not recognizing the evidentiary hearing was needed or failing to disclose a material fact to the court.

 

Thank you!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just to tell you 40,000 sanctions were granted. Our attorneys appealed. I am just trying to get to the bottom of WHY? Our attorneys said to appeals court that they were zealously advocating for a man who was going to be homeless and that the discussion about whether the attorneys should have disclosed the schizophrenia to the court should be at least part of the discussion. Thank you for your answer. I will accept with pleasure. Thank you for helping me.
Expert:  LawBeagle replied 3 years ago.

Okay, let me make sure I am understanding.

 

$40K in sanctions were granted against your attorneys?? That's almost unheard of.

It is likely that the court got very, very angry at the attorneys for failing to disclose that material fact and slapped them on the wrist. It is likely that the sanctions fell under subsection (3): it asserts material factual statements that are false.

 

While they didn't actually make a false statement, it can be argued that the failure to disclose that very material fact had the same effect as making a false statement to the court. Although that is just speculation - the court should have put into its order for sanctions the reasoning behind them.

 

Thank you!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Let me see.... Our attorneys did disclose the schizophrenia of their client many many times but no one thought to have the evidentiary hearing. Apparently you can't just say a person has mental illness, you have to prove it. What our attorneys (the ones that received the sanctions) are saying is that the Town attorneys knew of the schizophenia and did not disclose that to the court. What is the method that attorneys disclose material facts to court. Of course Town attorneys denied they knew but isn't that something for the court to deside?
Expert:  LawBeagle replied 3 years ago.

Relevant facts are disclosed through pleadings and submissions to the court - it is highly unusual that attorneys would be sanctioned for failing to request an evidentiary hearing. The appellate court will decide whether or not the trial court erred in sanctioning your attorneys - in that determination they may look at whether or not the town attorneys knew about the mental illness.

 

Thank you!

LawBeagle, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 960
Experience: Licensed attorney
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