Plaintiff Sanctioned For Sending Harassing Letters to Defendants and Others

On October 6, 2021, the Second Department issued a decision in Glaubach v. Slifkin, 2021 NY Slip Op. 05323, holding that a plaintiff should be sanctioned for sending harassing letters to defendants and others, explaining:

In 2015, the plaintiff commenced this shareholder’s derivative action. After the action was commenced, the plaintiff and his attorney sent approximately 75 letters to various defendants, as well as those defendants’ family members, clergy, and attorneys. Therein, the plaintiff made disturbing references, among other things, to plagues, repentance, imprisonment, and punishment by the Internal Revenue Service for tax fraud. The defendants David Slifkin, Jack Bilancia, Anthony Castiglione, Nancy Roa, Josephine DiMaggio, Personal Touch Holding Corp., PT Intermediate Holding, Inc., and Personal Touch Home Care of N.Y., Inc. (hereinafter collectively the defendants), among others, moved, inter alia, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 130-1.1 for the imposition of sanctions against the plaintiff.

Pursuant to 22 NYCRR 130-1.1, sanctions may be imposed against a party or the party’s attorney for frivolous conduct. Conduct is frivolous if: (1) it is completely without merit in law and cannot be supported by a reasonable argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law; (2) it is undertaken primarily to delay or prolong the resolution of the litigation, or to harass or maliciously injure another; or (3) it asserts material factual statements that are false. A party seeking the imposition of a sanction or an award of an attorney’s fee pursuant to 22 NYCRR 130-1.1(c) has the burden of proof.

Here, contrary to the Supreme Court’s determination, the defendants established that the plaintiff’s conduct in sending the subject letters was calculated to harass the defendants. Accordingly, the court improvidently exercised its discretion in denying that branch of the motion which was pursuant to 22 NYCRR 130-1.1.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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