Unpublished Disposition, 869 F.2d 1498 (9th Cir. 1989)Annotate this Case
In re Krishna RAO, M.D., and Charumati Rana, Debtors.Krishna RAO, M.D. and Charumati Rana, M.D., Appellants,v.PROFESSIONAL SPONSORING FUND, INC. and Allstate SearsSavings and Loan Assoc., Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Dec. 6, 1988.* Decided March 3, 1989.
Before SKOPIL, SCHROEDER, and ALARCON, Circuit Judges.
Chapter 11 debtors, Dr. Charumati Rana and Dr. Krishna Rao (the Raos), appeal pro se the bankruptcy court's grant of Professional Sponsoring Fund, Inc. (PSF) and Sears Savings and Loan Association's (Sears) motions for relief from the automatic stay. They also ask this court to remand their case for a hearing on their fraud claims against PSF and Sears.
The appeal attempts to raise issues which have become moot. After the Raos appealed the bankruptcy court's order terminating the automatic stay to the BAP, the bankruptcy court dismissed their chapter 11 petition. A new stay can only be granted while a bankruptcy case is pending. In re Income Property Builders, Inc., 699 F.2d 963, 964 (9th Cir. 1982). Because this court cannot grant effective relief to the Raos, their appeal is moot. See In re Cook, 730 F.2d 1324, 1326 (9th Cir. 1984) (appeal from forfeiture decree in Chapter 11 proceeding was moot where Chapter 11 proceeding had been dismissed and estate closed in a Chapter 7 proceeding).
Appellee PSF requests this court to impose sanctions on the Raos for filing a frivolous appeal. Sanctions are appropriate when the result of an appeal is obvious and the arguments of error are wholly without merit. DeWitt v. Western Pacific R.R., 719 F.2d 1448, 1451 (9th Cir. 1983). This court does not impose sanctions lightly on pro se litigants. Grimes v. Commissioner, 806 F.2d 1451, 1454 (9th Cir. 1986). An appeal that lacks merit is not always frivolous. Id. Here, the result of this case was not wholly obvious. Cf. Grimes, 806 F.2d at 1453-54 (imposing sanctions on pro se appellant from tax deficiency determination who argued that his family's living expenses were deductible). We conclude that sanctions are inappropriate.
The appeal is DISMISSED for want of jurisdiction.