District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable John Paul
Kennedy and Ryan M. Harris No. 070915820
Douglas R. Short, Appellant Pro Se.
H. Bogart, Attorney for Appellees.
Diana Hagen authored this Opinion, in which Judges Michele M.
Christiansen Forster and David N. Mortensen concurred.
Appellant Douglas R. Short appeared as an attorney for an
intervenor in supplemental proceedings to enforce a judgment.
Short has faced multiple sanctions based on his improper
conduct as an attorney in those proceedings. This appeal
concerns the most recent sanctions imposed by the district
court, ordering Short to pay the attorney fees that
Appellees, Yan Ross and Randi Wagner, incurred in responding
to a series of motions that lacked a legal or factual basis
or were submitted for an improper purpose. Short appeals the
district court's final judgment awarding sanctions
totaling $27, 981.07, plus interest, as well as the denial of
his subsequent motions to vacate that judgment. We affirm and
award Appellees the costs and attorney fees incurred in
defending this appeal.
In January 2009, Ross and Wagner moved for a writ of
execution to enforce a judgment against Global Fraud
Solutions (GFS). Michael K. Barnett, the general manager of
GFS, intervened, claiming that he personally owned the assets
subject to the writ. Short appeared as legal counsel for
On December 30, 2014, as a result of Short's performance
as counsel in these proceedings, the district court granted
Ross and Wagner's motion for sanctions under rule 11 of
the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure (the Sanctions Order). In
an attempt to "compensate [Ross and Wagner] as well as
deter Mr. Short," the district court directed Ross and
Wagner's attorney to submit "an affidavit of
attorney fees and a proposed order . . . detailing the amount
incurred in responding to the subject motions." The
court imposed the sanctions under rule 11 and its
"'inherent power to impose monetary sanctions on
attorneys who by their conduct thwart the court's
scheduling and movement of cases through the
court.'" (Quoting Maxwell v. Woodall, 2014
UT App 125, ¶ 6, 328 P.3d 869.)
As directed, Ross and Wagner's attorney, John H. Bogart,
filed a declaration (the Bogart Declaration) regarding
attorney fees within ten days. Short filed no opposition, and
Ross and Wagner moved to submit the matter for decision. The
district court found that the attorney fees were reasonable,
granted relief in the amount requested, and invited Ross and
Wagner to submit a proposed order reflecting the ruling.
Ross and Wagner served Short with a proposed order regarding
the fees request. Again, Short filed no objection to the
proposed order, and Ross and Wagner submitted the order for
signature once the time for filing objections had passed. On
February 9, 2015, the court entered the final order as
proposed, awarding attorney fees in the amount of $27, 981.07
(the Fees Order).
Short failed to pay the award, and Ross and Wagner moved for
entry of judgment. They served Short with a proposed, final
judgment assessing interest on the original award. Once
Short's deadline to file an objection had passed, Ross
and Wagner moved to submit the motion for entry of judgment.
That same day, Short moved for an extension of time to file
an opposition. The court granted a two-day extension. When
Short failed to file an opposition within that timeframe,
Ross and Wagner again submitted the matter for signature. The
district court entered the judgment as proposed on July 2,
2015 (the Judgment).
On September 30, 2015, Short filed two motions to vacate the
Judgment under rule 60(b) of the Utah Rules of Civil
Procedure. On November 12, 2015, the district court denied
both motions by order. Short then filed a motion to vacate
the November 12 order. On November 30, 2015, the district
court denied that motion as well.
Short filed this appeal challenging the Judgment and both the
November 12 and 30 orders denying his motions to vacate.
AND STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Short raises three issues on appeal. First, Short argues that
the district court should have granted his rule 60(b) motion
for relief from the Judgment. "We review a Rule 60(b)
motion for abuse of discretion."Golden Meadows