MONETARY SANCTIONS AMOUNT MUST BE TIED TO THE HARM SUFFERED BY THE PARTY SEEKING SANCTIONS

Wiegand v. Sky King Foundation, Inc.
Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-12-00020-CV (August 9, 2013)
Justices FitzGerald (Opinion) and Lewis
The trial court imposed a monetary sanction of $2,000 for violation of a protective order, but the Court of Appeals reversed. Relying on the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in Paradigm Oil, Inc. v. Retamco Operating, Inc., 372 S.W.3d 177 (Tex. 2012), the Court of Appeals held that monetary sanctions under TEX. R. CIV. P. 215(b) cannot be arbitrary, unrelated to the harm caused by the sanctionable conduct. Instead, the amount of any monetary sanction must be tied to the harm actually suffered by the party seeking sanctions, and must be supported by record evidence. Here, the party seeking sanctions neither pleaded an amount of harm nor introduced evidence to support a specific monetary award. So, the Court of Appeals reversed and rendered judgment, denying the motion for sanctions.

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