Legal Memorandum: Imposing sanctions on a party for taking a frivolous appeal

Issue: Under Illinois law, when may a court impose sanctions on a party for taking a frivolous appeal?

Area of Law: Litigation Practice & Procedure, Litigation Practice and Procedure
Keywords: ; Sanctions; Frivolous: Appeal; Objective Standard; Reasonable
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

A petitioner may request that the appeals court issue sanctions against counsel pursuant to [statref]Illinois Supreme Court Rule 375 (eff. Feb. 1, 1994)[/statref] for having filed a "frivolous appeal for the purposes of delay and harassment."  Rule 375 provides sanctions for frivolous appeals not taken in good faith. Parkway Bank & Trust Co. v. Korzen, 2013 IL App. (1st) 130380, ¶ 87. Whether to impose Rule 375 sanctions is within the sole discretion of the reviewing court. Id. In determining whether an appeal is frivolous, a reviewing court applies an objective standard. Id.  "'[T]he appeal is considered frivolous if it would not have been brought in good faith by a reasonable, prudent attorney.’" Id.  More specifically, Rule 375(b) provides:

"An appeal or other action will be deemed frivolous where it is not reasonably well grounded in fact and not warranted by existing law or a good-faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law. An appeal or other action will be deemed to have been taken or prosecuted for an improper purpose where the primary purpose of the appeal or other action is to delay, harass, or cause needless expense." [statref]Ill. S. Ct. R. 375(b) (eff. Feb. 1, 1994)[/statref].

In re Cardenas, No. 1-15-2569, 2016.IL.0000268 (Ill. Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2016) (VersusLaw).

Date: March 1, 2016