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Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:47 PM

Do baseless, absurd lawsuits ever warrant contempt of court?

Part of being a political nerd is that I follow court cases and decisions closely. So do many here on DU. Federal courts, USSC, state SC's etc.

These decisions affect our lives and our country.

Judges are granted incredible powers by the constitution. When one walks into a court of law it's no joke. Judges don't like having their time wasted by bullshit, baseless legal arguments. Noone likes to have their time wasted.

Trump is repeatedly filing baseless, bogus, absurd lawsuits because he got land-slided on Nov 3.

Biden handed Trump his bloated orange ass. Trump's response, to sue himself into infamy by becoming the worst sore loserman in the history of human democracy.

Trump's laughable court cases have presented ZERO evidence of any wrong-doing.

I'm no legal expert. I'm asking this because DU has many members that know a hell of a lot more about legal issues than I could ever hope to.

Using a court of law to attempt to argue a totally baseless lawsuit is an attempt to disrespect the court. When a person disrespects a judge, they wander into the territory of contempt of court.

Repeatedly filing baseless lawsuits may cross that thresh-hold.

So I had to ask fellow DUers, is it time for a judge to issue contempt of court charges? Has Trump's actions warranted COC?

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Reply Do baseless, absurd lawsuits ever warrant contempt of court? (Original post)
Imallin4Joe Saturday OP
C_U_L8R Saturday #1
The Velveteen Ocelot Saturday #2
Imallin4Joe Saturday #6
crickets Saturday #8
Silent3 Saturday #9
Imallin4Joe Sunday #10
LeftInTX Saturday #3
Imallin4Joe Saturday #7
rsdsharp Saturday #4
pat_k Saturday #5

Response to Imallin4Joe (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:51 PM

1. It's time for Republican ridiculousness to end.

Our courts must end this abuse. Enough is enough.

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Response to Imallin4Joe (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:54 PM

2. A judge can impose monetary sanctions against an attorney

under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for filing a lawsuit or a motion that isn't based on evidence or based on the law, or is presented to for the purpose of delay or harassment:

Rule 11. Signing Pleadings, Motions, and Other Papers; Representations to the Court; Sanctions
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(a) Signature. Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's name—or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented. The paper must state the signer's address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Unless a rule or statute specifically states otherwise, a pleading need not be verified or accompanied by an affidavit. The court must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the attorney's or party's attention.

(b) Representations to the Court. By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:

(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;

(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;

(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a lack of information.

(c) Sanctions.

(1) In General. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be held jointly responsible for a violation committed by its partner, associate, or employee.

(2) Motion for Sanctions. A motion for sanctions must be made separately from any other motion and must describe the specific conduct that allegedly violates Rule 11(b). The motion must be served under Rule 5, but it must not be filed or be presented to the court if the challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service or within another time the court sets. If warranted, the court may award to the prevailing party the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred for the motion.

(3) On the Court's Initiative. On its own, the court may order an attorney, law firm, or party to show cause why conduct specifically described in the order has not violated Rule 11(b).

(4) Nature of a Sanction. A sanction imposed under this rule must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated. The sanction may include nonmonetary directives; an order to pay a penalty into court; or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an order directing payment to the movant of part or all of the reasonable attorney's fees and other expenses directly resulting from the violation....
https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_11

I don't understand why a judge hasn't used Rule 11 yet but I wish they would. Contempt of court could be used only if a lawyer intentionally defied an existing court order.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 09:21 PM

6. Thank you!!

To Velveteen Ocelot, that's some serious wisdom. I've learned, ask of DU and DU will deliver!

Thanks for posting that. It's taught me a lot about legal proceedings in a court of law environment.

You bring up a very important point about why a judge hasn't issued a Rule 11 warning. Would that be the basis of COC if Trump continues his charade?

If Trump's attorneys ignore the judge's warning and continue with their bullshit arguments?

Thank you for replying, and educating us!

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 10:54 PM

8. Good to know. Thanks for the info.

I am desperately hoping the next judge involved with Rudy's PA suit uses this to please make it stop already.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 10:57 PM

9. This law should have kicked in for Trump's bogus arguments to protect his taxes and...

...financial info, and for the absolute insanity of literally trying to argue that Presidents are above the law.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 22, 2020, 01:53 AM

10. Great points! nt

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Response to Imallin4Joe (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:57 PM

3. I know some courts will force you to pay court costs if you lose

(Frivolous suit deterrent)

Alot of people do stupid things in court.

ETA: Velveteen Ocelot knows the law. I'm just a peon.

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 10:16 PM

7. Yes, you're right!

And yes, Velveteen Ocelot's reply is educating!!

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Response to Imallin4Joe (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 09:06 PM

4. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have Rule 11.

State courts all (to the best of my knowledge) have similar rules. They create a duty on the part of attorneys to accurately represent facts, and warrant that their legal arguments are valid, or that the attorney has a good faith basis to argue that the law should be changed.

Violation of those rules can result in sanctions. These may include fines against the attorney, and or the client, dismissal of claims, or restrictions on witnesses who can be called and the substance of their testimony.

Contempt might also be an option, but its sanctions usually aren’t as broad, except that jail can be an option for contempt but it Rule 11. In some cases, the judge might refer the conduct to the state bar where the attorney is licensed for possible disciplinary actoon.

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Response to Imallin4Joe (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 09:10 PM

5. Yes. And defendants s/b filing motions for costs (28 U.S. Code § 1927.Counsel's liability for excess

28 U.S. Code § 1927.Counsel’s liability for excessive costs

Any attorney or other person admitted to conduct cases in any court of the United States or any Territory thereof who so multiplies the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously may be required by the court to satisfy personally the excess costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct.

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