The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a company that brought a frivolous lawsuit to pay for the attorney fees and other costs of the defending party.
In Natare Corporation v. Cardinal Accounts, Inc., 49A05-0704-CV-210, the Court of Appeals granted Natare’s motion to tax costs regarding a suit against them brought by Cardinal Accounts. The trial court reinstated Cardinal’s complaint, which sat in limbo for months because Cardinal made no action in the case. When Natare appealed the complaint, the Court of Appeals tossed it out, citing Cardinal’s lack of any attempt to establish it had a meritorious claim and that the company’s multiple unexplained delays didn’t constitute exceptional circumstances.
Chief Judge John Baker wrote that Natare should be reimbursed by Cardinal pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 67 the costs of the filing fee, transcript preparation, appendix production, and postage, for a total of $333.68.
The appellate court also granted Natare’s attorney fees for the appeal be paid for by Cardinal because Cardinal’s suit was clearly frivolous.
“Natare was forced to appeal the erroneous result of the frivolous litigation and should not have to bear the financial burden of its attorneys’ services during the appellate process,” wrote Chief Judge Baker.
The appellate court remands the issue to the trial court to determine the amount of attorney fees owed to Natare, as well as to order Cardinal to pay Natare’s costs in the amount of $333.68.