Remedies Generally | Money Judgment | Injunction | Insurance Penalties for a Frivolous Claim

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Wrongful Suit.

It is illegal to file a frivolous law suit in Pennsylvania. The  plaintiff who files an improper suit can be liable for  damages and attorney fees based on the Dragonetti Act,  common law abuse of process, or Pennsylvania Rule of  Civil Procedure 1023.2.

Dragonetti Act.

In the mid-1980s, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted  what is known as the Dragonetti Act. The key provision of  the Act, entitled “Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings”, is  codified at 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8351(a) and provides:

1. A person who takes part in the procurement, initiation  or continuation of civil proceedings against another is  subject to liability to the other for wrongful use of civil  proceedings, so long as:

2. He acts in a grossly negligent manner or without  probable cause and primarily for a purpose other than  that of securing the proper discovery, joinder of parties or  adjudication of the claim in which the proceedings are  based; and

The proceedings must terminated in favor of the party  asserting the Dragonetti claim. Hence, if you have been  improperly sued, you must fight back and win before you  can assert a claim for abuse of process. The damages  available for violation of the Dragonetti act are extensive  (emotional distress, attorney fees, other sanctions) and  not necessarily dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Rules: Pa.R.C.P. 1023.2.

The rules governing cases filed in state court in  Pennsylvania require that the person who verifies a  pleading must certify (Rule 1023.1) the truth of the  allegations. If given written notice that some or all of the  allegations are false (without question) then the party  filling suit may be liable for sanctions (Rule 1023.2) and the  defendant’s attorney fees if the suit is not corrected or  withdrawn.

Abuse of Process.

There also exists a claim at common law for abuse of  process. Our lawyers are willing and available to provide a  free consultation any time.  Our Lawyers defend against frivolous claims in PA.