Frivolous lawsuits

For those inclined to use the phrase “frivolous lawsuits” to characterize bothersome legal complaints filed by environmental groups, here is a rebuttal.  But first, here is a legal definition of “frivolous.”

A frivolous claim, often called a bad faith claim, refers to a lawsuit, motion or appeal that is intended to harass, delay or embarrass the opposition.

A claim is frivolous when the claim lacks any arguable basis either in law or in fact (citation omitted). That means, in a frivolous claim, either: “(1) “the ‘factual contentions are clearly baseless,’ such as when allegations are the product of delusion or fantasy;” or (2) “the claim is ‘based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.'”

Here is what a Montana columnist (with an environmental background) had to say:

“Most people, and certainly most politicians, know it’s neither cheap nor easy to file a lawsuit — especially if the defendant happens to be the federal, state or local government. You better have your ducks in a row when you go before a judge because there’s no guaranteed outcome. The arguments of plaintiffs and defendants stand on their merits and legal precedent. When environmentalists or conservationists win their suits — and they do so quite often — it’s because the facts and the law prevail.
Of course it’s handy to label those lawsuits “frivolous” because they often overturn the projects or policies forwarded by agencies and politicians that place commerce and development as the highest and best use for every public resource.

However, as reported by the Washington Post, Donald J. Trump has now provided a perfect opportunity for those same politicians to see what actually happens when a frivolous lawsuit is filed. A Florida federal judge just sanctioned Trump and his lawyer, Alina Habba, for their frivolous lawsuit against Hillary Clinton over the 2016 campaign — and slapped them with a whopping $937,989.39 fine.

Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks didn’t mince his words in his 46-page judgment, calling Trump a “prolific and sophisticated litigant” who “is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries.” But he didn’t stop there, writing: “He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew full well the impact of his actions. As such, I find that sanctions should be imposed upon Mr. Trump and his lead counsel, Ms. Habba.”
As Middlebrook added: “Here, we are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose.”
Never has any Montana judge thrown out an environmental lawsuit, sanctioned, nor fined an environmental plaintiff or their attorneys for filing a frivolous suit — let alone dressing them down in such an unambiguous ruling.”

7 thoughts on “Frivolous lawsuits”

  1. According to the first definition of frivolous on google:

    friv·o·lous
    /ˈfrivələs/

    adjective
    not having any serious purpose or value.
    “rules to stop frivolous lawsuits”

    For fans of George Ochenski’s other Trump related articles, see the following list of headlines that can be found here: https://www.counterpunch.org/author/george-ochenski/

    The End of the Road for Trump
    Trump 2024? Ain’t Gonna Happen
    Bannon: Another Trumpster in the Dumpster
    Will Trump Come Tumbling Down?
    A Tough Week for the Trumpers
    Trump’s Coup: the Inside Story
    Good Riddance to 2020 and Mad King Trump
    Down Trump’s Rabbit Hole
    Time to End Trump’s Incredible Damage to Our Nation
    Trump Takes a Beating…in Montana
    Trump is Toast. Will He Take the Entire GOP Down With Him?
    Trump’s Herd Mentality Won’t Save Us
    Enabling Trump’s Ongoing Disasters
    Trump’s Contagion Road Show Heads West
    Trump-style Dysfunction Comes to Montana
    Freedom of Press Under Attack by Trump
    Rodney Garcia Epitomizes Trump’s Brand of Political Intolerance
    Trump’s War on the Environment Imperils Us All
    Trump Dooms the Future by Gutting the National Environmental Policy Act
    Trump to World: Happy New Year!
    The Walls are Closing in on Donald Trump
    Trump’s War on the Free Press Reeks of Dictatorship
    Memo to Trump: Water Runs Downhill
    What Will It Take to Stop Trump’s Climate Policy Insanity?
    Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
    Trump is on the Ropes, But the Pillage of Natural Resources Continues
    Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
    We’re a Better Society Than You Think, Mr. Trump
    You Have to Give Respect to Get Any, Mr. Trump
    Ozymandias has a Lesson for Trump
    Here Comes Trump’s Trade War
    Trump on the Stump
    Trump is Wrong About Tester and Montana’s Veterans
    If Trump’s Lips Are Moving, He’s Lying
    Trump’s ‘Chinese hoax’ Wreaking Global Havoc
    Zinke in the Hot Seat Over Trump’s Move to Rescind National Monuments

    Reply
  2. Definitions from Oxford Languages · Learn more
    fri·vol·i·ty
    noun: frivolity; plural noun: frivolities

    Def: lack of seriousness; lightheartedness, “a night of fun and frivolity”

    The “conflict” is created by an agency that is dishonest, ignores public concerns and serves themselves and corporate interests.

    Reply
    • “agency that is dishonest, ignores public concerns and serves themselves and corporate interests.” kind of like calling lawsuits you don’t like “frivolous” .. and remind me why we’re talking about Trump here?

      Reply
  3. Yep. Trump never spiked trees with intent to harm an innocent human doing their work.

    Trump never committed multiple arsons against USFS RANGER STATION buildings. Bombed labs. Shot cops while engaged in robbery to fun their warfare.

    Two miles from my home arson consumed Boise regional headquarters.

    120 miles the remaining equine slaughter house to protect feral, crippled, horses in need of euthanized end of life.

    Every one arrested for those crimes got a free legal assistance. Gideon v Wainwright. The ENGOs don’t sue for damages. Can’t get tort relief from sovereign. The suits are all about a judicial decision if proper process was followed as stated or alluded to in law. The “not for profits” get their presented legal costs paid by EAJA funds from Dept of Justice which once was explained by AG Eric Holder as “payments we don’t follow” when asked annual outlay. Private poverty brought by prevailing in law seldom gets paid. Weaponized Justice works that way.

    My view. Once upheld by the First Amendment as my right.

    Reply
  4. Just using simple logic… Is a lawsuit really frivolous if it wins in court? Chances are, it is the particular law that someone probably disagrees with, rather than the decision. Yes, there are plenty of badly-written laws that are difficult to ‘judge’ in court.

    Funny, how almost half of Congress are lawyers, yet they seem so very bad at writing laws.

    Reply

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