Menezes v. McDaniel (Dec. 18, 2019, No. D074434) has been certified for publication. In this case, the Fourth District Court of Appeal concluded that the superior court did not abuse its discretion by awarding Family Code §271 sanctions including anticipated fees and costs. The Appellate Court stated that there is nothing in Family Code §271 that requires that attorney fees and costs awarded under §271 to have been incurred or charged at the time of the award. As such, to the extent a party is frustrating the policy of the law to promote settlement of litigation and the policy to reduce the cost of litigation by encouraging cooperation between the parties and attorneys, that party is exposed to liability for the adverse party’s costs and attorney fees that are generated by the offending party’s conduct, including anticipated expenses.
If you would like to read the Appellate Court’s decision, it is available here.