Charges filed in Las Vegas courts come in all forms. On a regular day, you can expect different cases being heard, from simple traffic violations to Category D felonies. On a particularly bad day, a criminal defense lawyer may be in court and representing a client for a violent crime charge.
However, there are rare instances when a charge filed in court that is so far-fetched and outrageous that the judge immediately throws it out. These kinds of criminal complaints may sound absurd, but they are very real and can happen at any time. Let’s learn a little more about frivolous lawsuits in Las Vegas.
Defining Frivolous Lawsuits
A frivolous lawsuit, sometimes referred to as a frivolous litigation, is a charge, motion or appeal that has no legal or factual basis. These kinds of lawsuits make arguments based on the filer’s narrow worldview, using their own interpretations for what is or is not written in law. In other cases, frivolous lawsuits are based on out-of-context or deliberately false narratives, and are filed for a variety of detrimental reasons.
Frivolous litigation in Las Vegas can come in many forms. Some variations used in the past include:
- citing outdated or fringe legal theories that are not recognized in a court of law
- using selective reading and cherry-picking passages to satisfy their own interpretations of the law
- utilizing redundant statements or circular reasoning to argue their case
- presenting a claim without any accompanying argument set in fact
- making a claim in court that is unequivocally prohibited by existing laws
In some cases, uncivil or harassing behavior during a court hearing can be enough legal grounds to throw someone’s lawsuit out as frivolous. Do note that the term only applies to claims and charges filed without proper legal merit. A dismissed claim does not automatically mean it is frivolous; the charge may be legally sound but it lacks evidence or enough grounds for further investigation, for example.
Effect of Frivolous Lawsuits
The courts have a duty to judge cases in the most expedient way possible, especially when there’s a lot of them to process at any given time. Having to deal with a frivolous charge not only wastes the court’s time, but also inconveniences other defendants and plaintiffs with legitimate legal concerns. Resources are also wasted because the judge had to deal with a frivolous litigation.
The effect is worse if the frivolous litigation was made in bad faith. The reputation of persons or parties cited in the claim would suffer. Conversely, it can also negatively affect the lawyer representing the claimant, making it harder for him or her to represent other clients in the future.
Remedies for Frivolous Lawsuits
Courts in Las Vegas and elsewhere have various methods to deal with frivolous lawsuits. These methods can focus either on the individual making the filing, their legal counsel, or both. Nevada’s remedies to bad faith litigations, for example, require the offending party to pay for the other party’s attorney’s fees. Attorney’s fees can also be required as special damages in certain situations.
Note that other jurisdictions may hold the offending party’s lawyer or legal firm in contempt of court. This sanction is enacted to discourage the lawyer or firm in question from bringing up or maintaining frivolous litigations in the future.
Frivolous lawsuits are almost always bad faith motions taken by people who have no idea how the law works. Don’t fall for the trap of self-interpreting the law for your own safety! Always consult with a competent lawyer to avoid entering a frivolous litigation in the future.