George v. Shams-Shirazi discusses when a motion for attorney fees may be filed after an order has been entered in a post judgment request for order.
In this case, the parties were never married and had one child together. In a post-judgment proceeding, the father received sole legal and physical custody. After the hearing, both the mother and father filed motions. The father filed two motions to set aside the custody order, and the mother filed a motion for sanctions. The mother’s first motion was denied without prejudice. The mother’s second motion for sanctions was filed 226 after the custody order was granted.
The family court granted the mother’s request for attorney fees and awarded her $13,000 in sanctions. The father appealed the order stating that the mother’s motion for attorney fees was not filed in a timely manner consistent with California Rules of Court Rule 3.1702. The rule requires the motion to be filed within 60 days after the Notice of Entry is filed or 180 days after entry of judgment.
The father appealed the order stating that the mother filed the claim 226 days after the order was served on the parties. The First Appellate Court upheld the order stating that rule 3.1702 only applies to motions for attorney fees after a judgment and not after post-judgment proceedings. In a post judgment proceeding, rule 3.1702 does not apply. The court, however, did address the fact that a laches defense is still available in post-judgment request for sanctions.
California Rule of Court Rule 3.1702: Attorney’s fees before trial court judgment
(1) Time for motion. A notice of motion to claim attorney’s fees for services up to and including the rendition of judgment in the trial court-including attorney’s fees on an appeal before the rendition of judgment in the trial court-must be served and filed within the time for filing a notice of appeal under rules 8.104 and 8.108 in an unlimited civil case or under rules 8.822 and 8.823 in a limited civil case.
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