A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel has slapped the state of California with sanctions after the attorney general filed a fifth meritless appeal in ongoing prison conditions litigation.

In a short, one-page decision (pdf) issued last month, Judges Barry Silverman, Richard Paez and Carlos Bea dismissed the state’s appeal of an August 2009 district court order requiring the two sides in Plata v. Schwarzenegger to meet and confer over how much the prevailing plaintiffs lawyers are owed in fees and costs.

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