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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2804         FILED ON: 1/18/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1242

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

Thomas J. Calter

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to prevent vexatious litigation and waste of judicial resources.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Thomas J. Calter

12th Plymouth

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Colleen M. Garry

36th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2804        FILED ON: 1/18/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1242

By Mr. Calter of Kingston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1242) of Thomas J. Calter and others relative to frivolous lawsuits with malicious intent.  The Judiciary. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act to prevent vexatious litigation and waste of judicial resources.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

             

              SECTION 1.  Chapter 231 of the general laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

             

              Section 59H. Any person who commences any civil action or complaint against another person or entity in his or her own name or in the name of another without probable cause shall pay the other person double damages, costs and reasonable attorneys fees should a court find at any stage of the civil action, or in a separate action commenced by the defendant in the underlying action, that such conduct amounted to vexing, or should a court find at any stage of the civil action that the action was commenced without probable cause and with malicious intent to vex the defendant, treble damages.

             

              There shall be a presumption that a person who has commenced multiple prior actions against the defendant is acting to vex, and if it so alleged in the defendant’s answer, the court in its discretion may hold a preliminary hearing and should it find probable cause for the allegation of vexing, shall require the plaintiff to post a pre-trial bond in an amount that the court determines in its discretion to be reasonable based upon the circumstances.

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