Submitted: January 25, 2019
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware C.A. No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; VALIHURA and VAUGHN, Justices.
Strine, Jr. Chief Justice
consideration of the parties' briefs and the record
below, it appears to the Court that:
This appeal arises from the Superior Court's affirmance
of the judgment of the Court of Common Pleas. Having
carefully reviewed the record, we find no error or abuse of
the discretion in the Superior Court's decision.
Accordingly, we affirm the Superior Court's judgment. As
a result of the appellant's vexatious and frivolous
conduct, we also award the appellees the reasonable expenses,
including attorneys' fees, that they incurred in this
November 14, 2016, the appellant, Nina Shahin, filed a
complaint against the appellees, Sam's East, Inc.
("Sam's Club") and Synchrony Bank in the Court
of Common Pleas. She alleged that she was unable to buy a
$9.98 Arctic Trunk Organizer advertised by Sam's Club in
August 2016 because Sam's Club ran out of the item. She
alleged that Synchrony Bank wrongly placed a hold on her
Sam's Club Master Card for fraudulent activity two weeks
later that led to her cancelling the card. She sought damages
of $20, 000 for damage to her credit standing, Sam's
Club's poor service, insult, and humiliation.
Sam's Club and Synchrony Bank answered the complaint and
asserted affirmative defenses. Shahin filed a variety of
documents including objections to the participation of the
defendants' attorneys, a motion for correction of the
legal name of one defendant, and objections to Synchrony
Bank's affirmative defenses. On March 23, 2017, the Court
of Common Pleas granted the motion for correction of the
legal name and denied the remaining motions. On April 11,
2017, Shahin filed objections to the March 23rd order and to
the Court of Common Pleas judge presiding over the case.
April 12, 2017, the defendants informed Shahin that they
would move for summary judgment and might seek attorney's
fees and costs if she did not voluntarily dismiss her
complaint. They provided Shahin with documents showing the
Sam's Club advertisement stated that only limited
quantities were available, Synchrony Bank placed a hold on
her Sam's Club Master Card for suspicious charges in
Colorado (as authorized by the credit card agreement), and
Synchrony Bank attempted to notify Shahin of the reason for
the hold. In response, Shahin stated, among other things,
that there could be no charges in Colorado because she had
never been there.
June 14, 2017, the defendants filed motions for summary
judgment. Sam's Club argued that it was entitled to
summary judgment because it did not breach the membership
agreement, the sales notice stated that only limited
quantities were available, Shahin could not prove any of her
claims, and Shahin did not suffer any injury. Synchrony Bank
argued that it was entitled to summary judgment because it
did not breach the terms of the parties' agreement, it
did not act fraudulently in connection with the Sam's
Club sale, and it did not conspire with Sam's Club. In
response, Shahin filed motions for sanctions, alleging that
the motions for summary judgment were full of perjury and
June 28, 2017, the Court of Common Pleas held a pretrial
teleconference. After hearing arguments from the defendants
and Shahin, the Court of Common Pleas granted the motions for
summary judgment, denied Shahin's motions for sanctions,
and denied Shahin's additional objections. After
expressing anger at the rulings, Shahin left the
teleconference before the court had adjourned. Shahin
subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration and motions
for sanctions against the defendants' attorneys.
August 17, 2017, the Court of Common Pleas entered an order
denying Shahin's objections to the judge, denying
Shahin's motions for sanctions, granting the motions for
summary judgment, and denying Shahin's motion for
reconsideration. On August 28, 2017, Shahin filed a motion
for access to the tape of the June 28, 2017 hearing because
she claimed that the transcript contained unspecified
inaccuracies that might be racketeering under 18 U.S.C.
§ 1512(c)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 1961(1)(B). Shahin
also filed a motion to transfer the case to the United States
District Court for the District of Delaware. On October 11,
2017, the Court of Common Pleas denied Shahin's motion
for access to the tape of the June 28, 2017 hearing and the
motion to transfer. Shahin filed a motion for
reconsideration, which the Court of Common Pleas denied on
December 19, 2017.
January 2, 2018, Shahin filed a notice of appeal in the
Superior Court. Shahin attached the December 19, 2017 order
to her notice of appeal. She identified the falsification of
the June 28, 2017 transcript and the denial of access to the
tape recording of the hearing as the grounds for her appeal.
After briefing, the Superior Court held that the Court of
Common Pleas did not err in denying Shahin's motion for
reconsideration of the order denying her motion for access to
the tape recording because Shahin merely rehashed earlier
accusations of racketeering and misconduct. This appeal
followed. On November 29, 2018, Shahin filed a motion
demanding evidence that the appellees' counsel mailed her
the answering brief as stated in the certificate of service.
The appellees' counsel stated that they had mailed the
brief to Shahin's address and had ...