CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
GENERAL PROVISIONS RESPECTING COURTS OF JUSTICE
Incidental Powers and Duties of Courts
Expenses awarded against party or attorney for bad faith actions or tactics
Code of Civil Procedure Section 128.5
(a) A trial court may order a party, the party's attorney, or both
to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred
by another party as a result of bad-faith actions or tactics that are
frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. This section
also applies to judicial arbitration proceedings under Chapter 2.5 (commencing
with Section 1141.10) of Title 3 of Part 3.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Actions or tactics" include, but are not limited to, the
making or opposing of motions or the filing and service of a complaint,
cross-complaint, answer, or other responsive pleading. The mere filing
of a complaint without service thereof on an opposing party does not constitute
"actions or tactics" for purposes of this section.
(2) "Frivolous" means totally and completely without merit or
for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party.
(c) Expenses pursuant to this section shall not be imposed except on notice
contained in a party's moving or responding papers or, on the court's
own motion, after notice and opportunity to be heard. An order imposing
expenses shall be in writing and shall recite in detail the conduct or
circumstances justifying the order.
(d) In addition to any award pursuant to this section for conduct described
in subdivision (a), the court may assess punitive damages against the
plaintiff on a determination by the court that the plaintiff's action
was an action maintained by a person convicted of a felony against the
person's victim, or the victim's heirs, relatives, estate, or
personal representative, for injuries arising from the acts for which
the person was convicted of a felony, and that the plaintiff is guilty
of fraud, oppression, or malice in maintaining the action.
(e) This section shall not apply to disclosures and discovery requests,
responses, objections, and motions.
(f) Any sanctions imposed pursuant to this section shall be imposed consistently
with the standards, conditions, and procedures set forth in subdivisions
(c), (d), and (h) of Section 128.7.
(g) The liability imposed by this section is in addition to any other liability
imposed by law for acts or omissions within the purview of this section.
(1) A party who files a motion pursuant to this section shall, promptly
upon filing, transmit to the California Research Bureau of the California
State Library, by email, a copy of the endorsed, filed caption page of
the motion or opposition, a copy of any related notice of appeal or petition
for a writ, and a conformed copy of any order issued pursuant to this
section, including any order granting or denying the motion. The party
shall also indicate whether a motion for sanctions was made pursuant to
(2) The California Research Bureau shall maintain a public record of information
transmitted pursuant to this section for at least three years, or until
this section is repealed, whichever occurs first, and may store the information
on microfilm or other appropriate electronic media.
(i) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and
as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted
before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.