Court of Appeal affirms attorney fee rulings favorable to GMSR’s client, and finds appellant forfeited his merits argument

As part of enforcing a judgment, a bank levied on the judgment debtor’s individual retirement account.  The debtor did not file a timely claim of exemption—and when the institution holding the account asked the trial court for directions on whether to comply with the levy, the debtor did not participate in the proceeding.  The trial court ordered the account liquidated and transferred to the bank.  The debtor then appeared for the first time, moving for reconsideration on the ground that the account was exempt from enforcement.  The trial court denied the motion for failure to comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, denied the debtor’s request for attorney fees, and awarded attorney fees to the bank.  The debtor appealed.

GMSR secured an affirmance for the bank on appeal.  Agreeing with GMSR’s arguments, the Court of Appeal held that the debtor forfeited his challenge as to the individual retirement account by not timely appealing from the ruling ordering it transferred to the bank.  (The debtor appealed only from order denying reconsideration, which is not appealable.)  The Court of Appeal also agreed that the trial court was well within its discretion in granting the bank its attorney fees, and in denying the debtor’s request for fees.

Click here to read the Court of Appeal’s published Opinion:  Coastline JX Holdings LLC v. Bennett (2022) 80 Cal.App.5th 985 [Fourth District, Division 3].

Celebrating GMSR’s longtime tradition, we turned on the “Pink Light” to celebrate our clients’ win.