BOOCHEVER, Circuit Judge:
McConnell appeals from the dismissal of his civil rights actions against individuals, local government bodies, and the State of Washington. His claims are based on allegations of false arrests which occurred 4 to 15 years prior to filing the complaints. McConnell contends that the statute did not run against the governmental defendants until a remedy was offered by the 1978 United States Supreme Court decision in Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). McConnell made no argument on appeal as to why the limitations period had not run as to the individual defendants, and they now seek sanctions against McConnell and his attorney for a frivolous appeal. We affirm all of the dismissals and award attorneys fees to Waldner and to Karl and Wanda Diettrich against McConnell and his attorney on appeal.
Appellant McConnell filed in pro se three actions in November, 1979 alleging that he was falsely arrested and jailed in 1964 and 1975 and that he was fraudulently induced by his then attorney, Edward Critchlow, to plead guilty to a 1965 information. He also claims that he is owed back wages by Critchlow.
The district court treated the complaints as alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and dismissed the actions for, among other reasons, the running of the statute of limitations. The dismissal of the actions against the State of Washington was also based on the Eleventh Amendment.
McConnell's attorney argued on appeal that the statute of limitations did not begin to run as to the City of Richland and the State of Washington until 1978 and that Washington had waived its Eleventh Amendment rights. No arguments were presented as to why the dismissals in favor of the other defendants were improper. Waldner, Critchlow and the Diettrichs requested costs and/or attorneys fees against McConnell and his counsel for bringing a frivolous appeal.
I. Eleventh Amendment
Under the Eleventh Amendment, states that have not consented to suit are immune from § 1983 suits in federal court. Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 338, 99 S.Ct. 1139, 1143, 59 L.Ed.2d 358 (1979); Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 94 S.Ct. 1347, 39 L.Ed.2d 662 (1974). Washington's waiver of immunity in its own courts does not waive its immunity in the federal courts. Skokomish Indian Tribe v. France, 269 F.2d 555, 561 (9th Cir. 1959).
II. Limitations as to the City of Richland
We reject McConnell's argument that his cause of action against the City of Richland was not time barred because it did not accrue until the right to suit was created by the Supreme Court's 1978 reinterpretation of Section 1983 in Monell, supra. A decision recognizing a cause of action after the period has run does not retroactively interrupt the running of the limitations period. Duchesne v. Sugarman, 459 F.Supp. 313 (S.D.N.Y.1978) (rejecting delayed accrual arising from Monell). See generally, Versluis v. Town of Haskell, Okl., 154 F.2d 935 (10th Cir. 1946) (diversity); Zorgias v. S.S. Hellenic Star, 370 F.Supp. 591 (E.D.La. 1972); Stephens v. Stephens, 85 Wn.2d 290, 534 P.2d 571 (1975) (judicial elimination of interspousal tort immunity; cause of action accrued at injury not at time of change in law). Such delayed accrual could result in an outpouring of stale, difficult to defend claims, contrary to the policy underlying limitations statutes. As the district court said in Duchesne: "It is inconceivable that a byproduct of Monell would be to open the courts to claims for damages based on actions taken by municipalities in the intervening years." 459 F.Supp. at 314.
III. Sanctions for a Frivolous Appeal
The Diettrichs seek an award of appellate costs, and Waldner requests damages, attorneys fees, and costs of appeal against McConnell and his attorney. This court has discretion to award damages and single or double costs as a sanction against bringing a frivolous appeal. Fed.R.App.P. 38; 28 U.S.C. § 1912. This may include attorneys fees. Wood v. McEwen, 644 F.2d 797 (9th Cir. 1981). An appeal is considered frivolous in this circuit when the result is obvious, Jaegar v. Canadian Bank of Commerce, 327 F.2d 743 (9th Cir. 1964), or the appellant's arguments of error are wholly without merit. Libby, McNeill and Libby v. City National Bank, 592 F.2d 504, 515 (9th Cir. 1978).
Although the result as to the governmental parties in this appeal was not obvious at the outset, the appeal was frivolous as to the individual defendants. The claims against them were clearly barred by limitations, and McConnell and his attorney presented no argument attacking those dismissals. Because the policy of Fed.R. App.P. 38 is to deter appeal as a "knee jerk reaction to every unfavorable ruling," Libby, McNeill, 592 F.2d at 515, it is appropriate to award attorneys fees where the appeal is frivolous as to certain appellees. All three of the individual appellees filed briefs on appeal, and Waldner and the Diettrichs were represented by counsel at oral argument.
We make these awards jointly and severally against McConnell and his attorney Chaivoe. 28 U.S.C. § 1927 authorizes an award of fees and excess costs against counsel who "multiplies the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously." 28 U.S.C. § 1927 (as amended in 1980 to expressly include attorneys fees). Attorney Chaivoe failed to exclude from the appeal the judgments favoring the individual defendants although there was no basis for appeal.
No argument was advanced for reversal of the judgments favoring the individual defendants, and the only reason for keeping them in the appeal was the client's desire to include them. A lawyer may continue to represent a client only "so long as he does not thereby knowingly assist the client ... to take a frivolous legal position." Wash. Rev.Code EC 7-5 Vol. O, 27 (1979). Chaivoe's conduct was not compelled by his obligations to his client, and he is now jointly and severally liable with his client McConnell for pursuing an unjustified appeal.
The dismissals below are affirmed. The State of Washington has not waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity to suit in the federal courts and the statute of limitations has run against the other claims. Attorneys fees of $500 are awarded to Waldner and $500 to the Diettrichs.