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Is it appropriate to ask for punitive damages from an Appellate Court?

Broadview, IL |

Fraud was perpetrated by certain officers of the court. As a result, we lost a foreclosure case and even suffered mentally or emotionally--I have the medical records to show this. What's even great is that an independent foreclosure review has decided in our favor. Yet, our foreclosure case didn't go well, because the officers took care to avoid our evidence using fraud to this end.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You can't ask for punitive damages for the first time in the appellate court. When you appeal, you are asking a judge to overturn what another judge did. It sounds like you think your lawyer committed malpractice or someone did something wrong (I can't tell), so if you lose your appeal, you may want to file a suit against the "officer of the court" who did something wrong. Either way, you will need to talk to a lawyer.


  2. The appellate court will only address issues handled in the trial court. If punitive damages were not requested, they cannot now be sought.


  3. The only thing resembling "damages" that an appellate court may award is sanctions against opposing counsel.

    You really have two avenues, each of which would be quite challenging.

    One, you can file a section 1983 civil rights claims. Please note that numerous immunities would be implicated.

    Two, you may file a motion to vacate the foreclosure based on the theory of fraud. Once again, very difficult task,

    Good luck to you and I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune.

    The author provides the preceding information as a service to the public. Author's response, as stated above, should not be considered legal advice. An initial attorney-client conference, based upon review of all relevant facts/documents, will be necessary to provide legal advice upon which the client should then rely.


  4. What you say has the sound of something that really needs to be evaluated by an attorney, because you may have a new case to consider. It is hard to tell. If any new case involves attorney malpractice, punitive damages will not be available. There are three types of fairly common cases in which puntiive damages cannot be awarded: medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and wrongful death. Hope this helps.

    Answering this question does not set up a attorney-client relationship between us. My comments do not constitute legal advice. If you would like to pursue representation, please contact me.