When a party to a dissolution proceeding moves to modify an existing order, the other party may ask the court for “affirmative relief” in a responsive pleading, but only if that relief is “alternative to that requested by the moving party” and “on the same issues raised by the moving party.” (Fam. Code, § 213, subd. (a).) Is a responding party’s request for sanction-based attorney fees under section 271 a request for “affirmative relief”? The Court of Appeal concluded that it is not. Accordingly, and because the appealing party’s other challenges of res judicata and collateral lacked merit, the Court of Appeal affirmed the award of sanctions in the form of attorney fees in the amount of $149,672.12 in this case.
See Perow v Uzelac.
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* Disclaimer – Robert Rodriguez is licensed to practice only in the State of California & this analysis is applied only under State of California law. Robert D. Rodriguez is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts, Central, Northern & Eastern Districts of California. Robert Rodriguez has practiced in the State of California Court of Appeal.