Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

§1927 Sanctions for Refiling Twice-Dismissed Claims, Ignoring Discovery Orders, Initiating Similar Proceedings in State and Bankruptcy Courts [Extrajudicial Misconduct] & Filing Meritless Motions & Appeals

Eruchalu v. United States Bank, 2019 WL 244850 (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2019) (unpublished):


*1 In these consolidated appeals, Godson Eruchalu appeals pro se from the district court’s order granting defendant First Option Mortgage’s amended motion for attorney’s fees and costs under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1920 and 1927. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review for an abuse of discretion. Wages v. IRS, 915 F.2d 1230, 1235 (9th Cir. 1990). We affirm.

The district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding § 1927 sanctions because the record supports the district court’s findings that Eruchalu twice refiled previously dismissed claims, ignored discovery orders, initiated similar proceedings in state court and bankruptcy court, and filed meritless motions and appeals over the course of the proceedings. See 28 U.S.C. § 1927 (authorizing an award of attorney’s fees reasonably incurred because of conduct that “multiplies the proceedings ... unreasonably and vexatiously”); Wages, 915 F.2d at 1235-36 (sanctions under § 1927 require a showing of bad faith and may be imposed upon a pro se plaintiff).

The district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding attorney’s fees in the amount of $189,908.65 because the record supports the district court’s calculation under the lodestar method. See Camacho v. Bridgeport Fin., Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 977-78 (9th Cir. 2008) (discussing proper application of the lodestar method and the district court’s “great deal of discretion” to determine the reasonableness of the fee (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)).

The district court did not abuse its discretion by awarding costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920. See 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (setting forth categories of taxable costs); In re Online DVD-Rental Antitrust Litig., 779 F.3d 914, 924-25 (9th Cir. 2015) (setting forth standard of review).

We do not consider matters not specifically and distinctly raised and argued in the opening brief, or arguments and allegations raised for the first time on appeal. See Padgett v. Wright, 587 F.3d 983, 985 n.2 (9th Cir. 2009).

Eruchalu’s request for “extra” pages, set forth in his reply brief, is granted. The reply brief has been filed. To the extent Eruchalu requests leave to file a supplemental reply brief, the request is denied.

Eruchalu’s request to strike the answering briefs, set forth in his reply brief, is denied.




The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2).



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