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How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

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  • How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

    My ex is very bitter towards me and has been since the separation back in 2001. He has taken me back and fourth to court filing frivolous motions. The last six years he has filed over a dozen motions against me. First he filed a motion for our son to change schooling to one closer to his house in KS we reside in MO, then he filed a motion to change custody requesting primary custody, he filed a motion for us to have homestudy, he filed a motion to increase his parenting time, he filed two motions to reduce his parenting time and at the last minute he changed his mind. Each one of these times the cases have been unfounded. Just recently he filed a motion to decrease child support. I'm currently unemployed and can't afford to pay for our son childcare so I haven't enrolled our son in childcare for this school year. So, now he is requesting the his support be decrease. I'm fine with this. But, now him and his attorney have added future summer camp fees that our son has never attended nor was it ever discussed they we would change summer camp. He is also in violation of the court order by enrolling our son in a home daycare, taking him to counseling and doctor appointments all without consulting with me prior to any of these events. I have spent a fortune on legal fees and I'm still paying for back attorney fees. He "thrives" on this and he isn't being rationale. What can I do to stop these frivolous and harassing court cases? My lawyer suggested writing a letter to the court and explaining what is going on. What else can I do legally?

  • #2
    Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

    You can neatly compile the entire history and file a motion asking for sanctions and costs for abuse of process, frivolous filings etc.

    Show step by step how the actions have been frivolous and thrown out. Make sure the judge see the entire picture.

    At a minimum it will put the court on notice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

      Firstly, if you are currently unemployed then there is no need for the child to even be in daycare.

      Secondly, except for a couple of his petitions, they aren't frivolous in nature. Obviously this man has some money to throw around, and cares not about how he spends it.

      If you are going this alone, that is your first mistake. You need an attorney to represent you. Your attorney can, more articulately, describe the level and number of lawsuits filed by your ex is steadfastly increasing (it's appalling our courts allow this type of behavior, wasting everyone's time), and ask that the harassment stop.

      He's obviously lost all of his motions if he is still taking you to court. For instance, he apparently did not get either primary custody or increased parenting time.

      Yes, it's unfortunate that people use the legal system to vent their bitter emotions at an ex, but the courts seem oblivious to it. It's too bad the U.S. court system would take a few lessons from other countries, such as the Bahamas. This man would have probably been jailed for contempt and broken his bank account by now if he were using their court system like that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

        A dozen in 6 years? That would be a dream in my boyfriends world. In 5 years the state has allowed his ex to file almost 300 motions. Yes, three HUNDRED. The court has records showing she is mentally ill, he has custody of the children, yet she can drag him to court almost every week. The courts have already given her all they had in the divorce except the house he and the children live in and a used car. She has all his military retirement, half his current pay, a new house and car, she doesn't need to work. All his vacation time is used for court. When he has appealed the abuse of procedure, the judge was unsympathetic. I did not believe things like this could happen- but I'm seeing it with my own eyes. So much for a fair system.

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        • #5
          Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

          Your story is absolute proof of how archaic and lax our U.S. Family Court system is. No court should ever entertain that many motions. It is clear 295 of them are frivolous and made only to harass the other parent.

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          • #6
            Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

            Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
            A dozen in 6 years? That would be a dream in my boyfriends world. In 5 years the state has allowed his ex to file almost 300 motions. Yes, three HUNDRED. The court has records showing she is mentally ill, he has custody of the children, yet she can drag him to court almost every week. The courts have already given her all they had in the divorce except the house he and the children live in and a used car. She has all his military retirement, half his current pay, a new house and car, she doesn't need to work. All his vacation time is used for court. When he has appealed the abuse of procedure, the judge was unsympathetic. I did not believe things like this could happen- but I'm seeing it with my own eyes. So much for a fair system.
            Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass or subdue an adversary. It may take the form of a primary frivolous lawsuit or may be the repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the judicial process and may result in sanctions against the offender.

            Family court can and will place sanctions upon request to someone who can be proven as a Vexatious litigator. This typically applies to someone who is pro se.

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            • #7
              Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

              Does the Vexatious litigation only apply if everything that is filed is towards you? My exhusband and I have been in court four main times in four years along with contempt and child support hearings steaming off of those.

              In addition to that his mother filed a greivance against the judge, they filed an appeal after he lost custody, they filed a rule 9 and 11 (I believe these are the right numbers, my attorney handled both), and they had my attorney investigated for ethical practice, again I don't know if that is the correct verbage but she had to go through an investigation, and his gf filed a complaint through DSS and we had to go through an investigation with them.

              All filings have been dismissed, DSS even said that they would testify on my behalf if he brought another case forward. My attorney said that we cannot file anything regarding harrassment because these filings have not all been directed towards me. Is there anything that I can do? This has really become ridiculous, and I could've put both of my children through college with the money that has been spent. I am a good mother and he is a good father, unfortunately though he keeps doing this for reasons that are beyond my understanding. His attorney is no longer representing him and we heard through the grapevine that he just retained a new one, which means something new is about to be filed. Please let me know if I have any way to protect myself from this continuing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, adopted in one form or another by all the states provides for sanctions, usually monetary, against a party who files frivolous, groundless motions and wastes the court's time and the other party's resources.

                There is no way to protect one from filing meritless motions or litigations -- except to make them pay when they have no merit. Represented by a lawyer, the lawyer should know better. It will be up to your attorney to be vigilant and merciless requesting fines, sanctions and whatever other remedies there are at law in your state. Barring from the courts runs against Constitutional guarantees but one can sure make it expensive when the motions have no merit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                  I know this Post is old, but I was wondering if someone can tell me if I should or should not bother to file a Vexatious litigation charge on my ex.

                  Since I put the restraining order on him last year he has taken me to court 4 times for property he claims is his. The first one was filed as a criminal charge, he listed about 5 items then wrote on his list "whatever else she agrees to". Per the judge and having a sheriff present at the house he got the 5 items. I did not agree to anything else. He then files another criminal lawsuit for more items (the ones I did not agree to + other stuff not mentioned). Per the judge once again he picked up everything I agreed to with a sheriff present. The judge told him to take me to civil court for anything else. HE DID. He lost and then appealed and I won a higher judgement than his via my counter claim.

                  He has stated to the judge today that he is going to take me back to court AGAIN for materials and labor he put in my house. I cant take much more and have already been hospitalized once from the stress. He has had it in for me since the restraining order and I just want him to stop, leave me alone and live his life with his fiancee.

                  Considering I have the restraining order in effect for a couple more months, can I do anything to stop him from this constant harassment?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                    There is a cause of action for abuse of process. It requires that the defendant bring civil suits without merit for ulterior motive. The suits must have resolved in the plaintiff's favor.

                    The criminal counterpart is malicious prosecution. Same scenario. Defendant instituted filing of criminal charges, ended with not guilty for plaintiff.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                      Reply was sent prematurely.

                      As to his current threats re your house, his claims should have been raised before the divorce was final. He will be bringing a claim that is res juficara, the property matter already decided.

                      For defending against a merifless claim, one is usually awarded attorney fees. It could cost him a couple thousand dollars to raise that claim.

                      Barring one from the courts treads on Constitutional guarantees so judges are hesitant to bar someone, no matter how litigipusly obnoxious. If it costs your ex YOUR attorney fees every time he takes a notion to batter you with process, he will stop to think of the chunk it will take out of his bank account.

                      I would see a lawyer to evaluate the claims you have against him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                        Friend, You suggest going after monetary sanctions via the court system. What if the person HAS NO MONEY? They don't have a job. They sit at home and hand write court filings all day?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                          Then obtaining judgments is likely a waste of time. You can write off the expenses to a poor choice of a coparent.

                          Originally posted by gimme10 View Post
                          Friend, You suggest going after monetary sanctions via the court system. What if the person HAS NO MONEY? They don't have a job. They sit at home and hand write court filings all day?
                          Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                          I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                          Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How do I stop my ex from filing frivolous motions and ask for attorney fees

                            Originally posted by gimme10 View Post
                            Friend, You suggest going after monetary sanctions via the court system. What if the person HAS NO MONEY? They don't have a job. They sit at home and hand write court filings all day?
                            They can still be enjoined by the court, barred from filing any more suits. If they have no money, they will play hell trying to appeal such an injunction, too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A friend of mine recommended that I do this and I'm going to try it. I have a custody case going on against a narcissist who has a lot of money. He just wants to destroy my life and abuse me financially now that he can't abuse me anymore.

                              I am going to try to order a coparenting coordinator . But I am going to specifically asked that everything goes through the coordinator. If the coordinator feels that the actions of one person or the motion that they want to place is necessary to place in court then you each pay all of the fees 50-50. However if the coparenting Cordinator believes that one person is unnecessarily filing an action, then that person needs to pay for it 100%.

                              My friend told me to do this and I feel like it could be the only way to stop him from continuing

                              Comment

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