NY Appeals Court Upholds $110K Sanction Against Trump for Failing to Comply with Court Order

Today, a New York state appeals court upheld a $110,000 contempt sanction against Donald Trump for failing to comply with a court order demanding the production of particular documents necessary for an investigation into the former President's business dealings conducted by the New York state attorney general.[0] The most recent legal setback for the ex-President is the short ruling.[1]

The panel of three judges ruled that the financial sanction “was a proper exercise of the court’s discretionary power and was not excessive or otherwise improper, under the particular circumstances.”[2] In the written order, Engoron stated that Trump had deliberately disregarded his earlier command to comply with the subpoena for documents, and declared that the former president’s failure to comply had caused damage to the civil investigation being conducted by James.[3]

In September, the state of New York brought a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his business, and three of his adult children for allegedly engaging in a long-term pattern of fraud involving financial documents.[4] A five-judge panel determined that the penalty imposed on Trump for not adhering to a subpoena for documents was an appropriate utilization of the discretionary authority of Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.[5]

After months of delay, the attorney general's office requested sanctions.[3] Donald Trump made an appeal against a ruling from New York state Judge Arthur Engoron, who had mandated a penalty of $10,000 per day due to Trump's non-compliance with a subpoena issued in December 2021 as part of a probe into the financial practices of the Trump Organization.[2] Alina Habba, Trump's attorney, declared that upon searching, no documents apart from the 10 already provided by the Trump Organization were found to be given to the investigators.[3] Engoron labelled it a “standard” answer and questioned whether Trump's team had looked through filing cabinets, agendas, and other documents.[3]

Trump's contempt finding was removed after he submitted an affidavit in which he declared he no longer had cell phones and had given permission for his lawyers to search his premises.[3] The lawyers subsequently put their signatures on affidavits which detailed their searches and efforts to contact Trump's ex-assistants.[3]

This lawsuit aims to prevent the ex-president and his three offspring from holding executive positions in New York, and also to prohibit the Trump Organization from buying commercial property or obtaining loans from state-based organizations for a period of five years.[6]

0. “Trump Can't Nix $110K Sanction In NY AG Case, Court Says” Law360, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.law360.com/tax-authority/articles/1576336/trump-can-t-nix-110k-sanction-in-ny-ag-case-court-says

1. “New York Appeals Court Upholds Contempt Sanction Against Trump” Reason, 14 Feb. 2023, https://reason.com/volokh/2023/02/14/new-york-appeals-court-upholds-contempt-sanction-against-trump

2. “Trump must pay $110,000 in sanctions to NY attorney general, court rules – Local News 8” LocalNews8.com, 14 Feb. 2023, https://localnews8.com/news/2023/02/14/trump-must-pay-110000-in-sanctions-to-ny-attorney-general-court-rules

3. “Trump must pay $110000 in sanctions to NY attorney general, court rules” WICZ, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.wicz.com/story/48381957/trump-must-pay-110000-in-sanctions-to-ny-attorney-general-court-rules

4. “Trump ordered to pay NY Attorney General $110K for being in contempt” Daily Mail, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11750497/Trump-ordered-pay-NY-Attorney-General-contempt.html

5. “Trump's $110000 Contempt Fine Upheld by New York Appeals Court” Bloomberg, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-14/trump-s-110-000-contempt-fine-upheld-by-new-york-appeals-court

6. “Donald Trump ‘not above the law’, New York attorney general says” The Guardian US, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/feb/14/donald-trump-not-above-law-new-york-attorney-general