California Appeals Court Upholds Terminating Sanctions Against Borrower and Attorney

In an attempt to avoid foreclosure, during a five-year period the borrower filed four (4) wrongful foreclosure lawsuits, four (4) temporary restraining order ex parte applications, and approximately ten (10) bankruptcies, each of which was denied or dismissed. In representing the foreclosing lender and purchaser, Attlesey | Storm, LLP set out to stop the borrower’s abusive litigation tactics. Attorneys Suzanne Storm and Keith Attlesey filed motions for sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 requesting the borrower’s most recent wrongful foreclosure complaint be struck and monetary sanctions be awarded against the borrower and his attorney.

In granting Attlesey | Storm’s motion, Judge Allan J. Goodman of the Los Angeles Superior Court found “a troublesome pattern of forum-shopping, harassment, and delay by Plaintiff and [his] attorney in an improper effort to stymie foreclosure and post foreclosure disposition of the subject real property, which misconduct even included serial bankruptcy filings and a violation of a Bankruptcy Court order.” Judge Goodman entered judgment striking the borrower’s complaint with prejudice and ordering the borrower and his attorney to pay sanctions in the amount of $60,000. They appealed.

On appeal, the Second Appellate District- Division Seven affirmed the judgment opining “[t]he record in this case amply supports the trial court’s conclusion that [the borrower] and [his attorney] filed this latest action ‘primarily for an improper purpose’ as part of a years-long campaign to frustrate creditors and stymie the foreclosure proceedings on the Roxbury property.” Read the Court’s opinion here.