Matter of Adams v. Bracci
Justice Leslie Stein
Mother Bracci appealed from an order denying her motion to vacate a prior order of custody and the court's sua sponte order imposing sanctions on Bracci and her attorney. Bracci moved to vacate prior court orders alleging the judge issuing such orders was not qualified to serve as a judicial officer due to the lack of a certificate of election on file with the Delaware County Clerk's office. Father Adams sought sanctions for Bracci and her attorney filing a frivolous motion. The Family Court denied Bracci's motion and ordered her and her counsel to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed against them. Subsequently, the court concluded Bracci and her attorney's conduct was frivolous, conditionally ordering them to pay sanctions. This court found Bracci's argument that Family Court erred in denying vacatur was unpersuasive, noting that even if there was an irregularity in the judge's election filings, his subsequent orders and judgments were valid and immune from collateral attack. Further, Bracci's contention the judge was biased against her and her attorney was unsubstantiated, and the Family Court's imposition of sanctions was a proper exercise of its discretion. Thus, the court affirmed the orders.