Court of Appeal Adopts Abuse of Discreton Standard for Review of Family Code Section 2107 Sanctions Award

In Marriage of Feldman, case no. D047896 (4th Dist. July 20, 2007, certified for publication August 7, 2007), the Court of Appeal upholds a whopping $250,000 in sanctions and $140,000 in attorney fees against a husband who failed to disclose material assets in the course of divorce proceedings.  The sanctions were awarded pursuant to Family Code section 2107, subdivision (c) and Family Code section 271, subdivision (a).

Section 271 sanction orders are reviewed for abuse of discretion, but the court had no precedent for the standard of review to apply to awards under Section 2107, subdivision (c).  The court determines that abuse of discretion applies here as well, since “the sanction is similar to that imposed under section 271 as well as similar to a sanction for civil discovery abuses (which are reviewed for abuse of discretion).”

USD Law Professor Shaun Martin has the local San Diego angle at California Appellate Report.