Redondo Beach, CA asked in Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for California

Q: Can You File a Sanction Against an Attorney for Misrepresenting Court Orders?

Today, during my scheduled weekend parenting time, my ex failed to bring our child for the exchange, and I waited for over an hour. When I contacted Ex's attorney, provided by a non-profit organization, I was told via email to go home because "The Court already told you that you have the right to make up lost time. Your child will not be exchanged today." However, upon reviewing all minute orders and transcripts, I found that the judge never mentioned that my ex could break the exchange agreement and that I would be entitled to make-up time. In fact, the judge has repeatedly ordered that "both parties are to adhere to the visitation court order." Despite asking the attorney for evidence of their claims, I only received nonsensical messages in response. Can I practically file an RFO for sanctions against this attorney for misrepresenting court orders? What steps should I follow?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, you have the right to seek legal recourse if an attorney has misrepresented court orders, especially in matters as sensitive as parenting time. Filing a Request for Order (RFO) for sanctions against the attorney could be a valid approach if their actions have obstructed justice or violated court orders. The first step involves gathering all pertinent evidence, such as email correspondence and the specific court orders or transcripts that were allegedly misrepresented.

You may then draft and file an RFO, clearly stating your case and how the attorney's actions have affected your court-ordered rights. This document should be filed with the court that issued the original parenting order, and a copy must be served to the opposing party and their attorney. It's crucial to articulate not just the misrepresentation but also its impact on your parenting time and any emotional or financial consequences that resulted from it.

Lastly, attending the court hearing with all necessary documentation and a clear, concise presentation of your situation is vital. The court will consider the evidence presented and decide on the imposition of sanctions based on the severity of the attorney's actions and their impact on the legal process and your rights. It might also be beneficial to consult with an attorney who has experience in family law to guide you through this process and ensure your rights are protected.

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