Facing Sanctions? Not if the party, person, or attorney to be sanctioned wasn’t identified in the Notice of Motion.

Although most attorneys know that a request for sanctions must contain certain information and must also be placed in the Notice portion of a motion, once in a while you get lucky and both the caption page and the Notice of Motion just states something like this:

“Party A requests sanctions in the amount of $2,300.”

This is insufficient notice under Code of Civil Procedure §2023.040 and any award of sanctions should be denied, or reversed on appeal. Code of Civil Procedure §2023.040 states in relevant part:

 A request for a sanction shall, in the notice of motion, identify every person, party, and attorney against whom the sanction is sought, and specify the type of sanction sought.

Courts have enforced this notice requirement. The individual or party against whom the sanctions are sought must be identified in the notice of motion. (Corralejo v. Quiroga (1984) 152 Cal.App.3d 871, 874 [order imposing sanctions on attorney reversed where notice of motion did not clearly provide that sanctions were being sought against attorney]; cf. Sole Energy Co. v. Hodges (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 199, 207-210 [default judgment reversed because moving party failed to specify in notice of motion that it sought terminating sanction, although notice of motion sought monetary sanctions and memorandum of points and authorities advised court it could consider terminating sanction]; see also Capital Gold Group, Inc. v. Michael Thomas Media Group, LLC (2008) 2008 WL 4560224, 3 (unpublished).)

A request for sanctions must comply with due process and express notice requirements. If it does not, be sure to bring it to the Court’s attention.

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