Lawmakers Could Pass Penalty for Frivolous Lawsuits

State lawmakers are close to passing a penalty for frivolous lawsuits. Critics complain it would unfairly discourage poor people from going to court.

The proposal would punish people who file a lawsuit if it’s dismissed as groundless. A judge could make them pay up to $10 thousand to cover court costs and the other side’s attorneys’ fees. Memphis Democrat Joe Towns told fellow state House members the measure could turn away low-income people who have valid cases.

“It’s wrong to prevent people from having their day in court. This bill is not right – it’s unrighteous – and it’s penalizing citizens of the state of Tennessee for seeking – even seeking justice.”

The measure passed the House 58-38, and could get a Senate vote this week.

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