National Abortion Federation wins contempt sanction award of nearly $200,000

By Angela Underwood | Sep 12, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -The National Abortion Federation (NAF) has been granted a civil contempt sanction award of nearly $200,000.

U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of the federation award for almost $200,000 on Aug. 25, after finding defendant Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and their criminal counsel in contempt for violating a preliminary injunction order (PI). 

David Daleiden and Daleiden’s criminal counsel, Steve Cooley and Brentford J. Ferreria (respondents), violated the order by publishing third party’s recordings covered by the injunction order. Orrick wrote “In order to secure those parties’ and respondents’ current and future compliance, with the PI [as well as reimburse NAF for any funds spent because of the PI, including counsel costs and] “counsel’s efforts to get websites to 'take down' the PI materials and the time reasonably incurred in communicating with civil and criminal defense counsel and moving for contempt sanctions.” 

Orrick cited United States v. United Mine Workers of Am. (1947), saying the decision was to determine the “harm threatened by continued contumacy, and the probable effectiveness of any suggested sanction in bringing about the result desired.” 

In the original complaint, the NAF brought an emergency application that resulted in the PI. Saying “the situation could not be more urgent,” because the named defendants accessed the NAF’s annual meetings under the bogus named Biomax Procurement Services, the NAF argued that after creating a phony marketing campaign, website, business cards and driver’s license, the defendants, “mingled freely with attendees, gathering identifying information and secretly recording members,” according to the original complaint.

The NAF argued in the complaint that the defendants went public with the tapes and “they are then heavily edited to purposely make it look as if these physicians are profiting from lawful fetal tissue donation programs – programs that have led to life-saving medical research breakthroughs – when in fact the exact opposite is true.” 

Unswerving from his original ruling, Orrick awarded the NAF civil contempt sanctions $195,359.04, “an amount significantly less than sought by NAF but an amount sufficient, I hope, to insure future compliance,” the judge wrote in the ruling.

The amount is to be paid jointly and severally by CMP and attorneys Daleiden, Cooley and Ferreira. 

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