Counter Suing for Frivolous Lawsuit and Winning
Being sued is already bad in and of itself. But to make matters worse, the specifics of the complaint are outright lies with no legal merit. These are called frivolous lawsuits — aimed at hurting your reputation and causing people to lose trust in you and your business. So what do you do when you have been sued with a frivolous lawsuit?
In this article, we will walk you through the definitions of frivolous lawsuits, their most common examples, and what you can do to counter sue for a frivolous lawsuit.
What is a Frivolous Lawsuit?
Frivolous lawsuits are cases with no legal merit. These involve claims that are filed despite lacking quality legal arguments or evidence. Some examples of frivolous lawsuits are:
- A person who you bumped at the bus who wasn’t actually injured
- A lawsuit against an Uber driver by a passenger who was simply irked at the driver’s choice of music
- Your neighbor suing you for trespassing because your dog walked into their pathway
Usually, the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit knows that they do not have a chance of winning the case. In fact, frivolous lawsuits are often used as a bargaining chip in negotiations. More purposes of frivolous lawsuits include:
- Harassing the defendant and forcing him/her to spend time, energy, and resources to appeal for the case to be dismissed
- Tarnishing the defendant’s reputation
- Generating media coverage i.e. advocacy groups wishing to bring buzz to an issue
Legal Grounds for Counter Suing for Frivolous Lawsuits
When faced with a frivolous lawsuit, your first reaction probably is to look into suing for defamation. However, you cannot counter sue someone for defamation when it is based on false statements. Nonetheless, you still have other options as there are legal grounds for counter suing for frivolous lawsuits, such as:
|Legal Ground||What It Is|
|Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure||This requires lawyers to investigate if the lawsuit has a factual basis and prevents them from serving a pleading that’s only intended to harass the defendant.|
|Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal||This requires lawyers to correct any errors or misstatements in their pleadings.|
|The Lanham Act||In “exceptional cases”, the court may award damages to the winning party; in this case “exceptional cases” include frivolous litigations.|
|Malicious prosecution and abuse of process||This holds the plaintiff who files a frivolous lawsuit liable in case the defendant can prove that the plaintiff filed the lawsuit out of malice.|
How to Deal with a Frivolous Lawsuit?
When faced with a frivolous lawsuit, here are some ways to deal with it:
- File a motion to dismiss immediately – You may want your lawyer to reach out to the plaintiff’s attorney and try to settle for a dismissal. However, if that is unsuccessful, you may proceed to file a motion to dismiss.
- File a counterclaim – If you are able to have the frivolous lawsuit dismissed, you may file a claim for abuse of process or a different civil claim in regards to the frivolous lawsuit. However, in some states, you may be required to file a counterclaim instead.
- Pursue a declaration of “vexatious litigant” – This applies to businesses that have been sued by the same plaintiff numerous times with frivolous claims. A vexatious litigant declaration will require the plaintiff to get a judge’s approval before they can file any more lawsuits. The state courts may also publish their name in the list of vexatious individuals.
How to Counter Sue with DoNotPay?
In theory, filing a countersuit can be straightforward. However, most of the time it requires you to go through a lot of bureaucracy, court forms, and demand letters. DoNotPay helps make the suing process faster and easier. All you have to do is:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Quantify your damages in monetary terms
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable evidence
That’s it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you!
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