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Section 130-1.1 of New York State's rules and regulations authorizes courts to impose costs and other monetary sanctions against any party or attorney engaged in "frivolous conduct."

According to 22 NYCRR 130-1.1, conduct is frivolous if: (1) it is without merit and "cannot be supported by a reasonable argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law;" (2) its primary purpose is to delay proceedings or "harass or maliciously injure" another party; or (3) "it asserts material factual statements that are false."

When considering whether there has been a possible violation of that rule, a court is required to examine the circumstances surrounding the party's conduct and must consider -- among other things -- whether its frivolous nature was apparent, should have been apparent, or had been brought to a party's attention.

In 1050 Tenants Corp. v. Lapidus , a cooperative tenant was sanctioned under this Rule by the New York County Civil Court for falsely testifying at a nonpayment proceeding about the signing of a stipulation of settlement. Since the agreement's enforceability was a focal point of the case, and the tenant was found to have asserted a "material factual statement" that was false, the court awarded costs to the cooperative.

When the Appellate Term, First Department, affirmed on appeal, we doubt the tenant-shareholder sanctioned the outcome.

To download a copy of the Appellate Term's decision, please use this link: 1050 Tenants Corp. v. Lapidus