September 21, 2016. Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan upholds July Order requiring Aaron Katz to pay IVGID its attorney’s in the sum of $226,466.80.
On July 15, 2016, after five years of litigation, Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan entered an order awarding IVGID its attorney’s fees in the amount of $226,466.80 plus other court costs in the amount of $2,925.95. Within days after the award, Mr. Katz engaged counsel and filed a motion to alter or amend judgment, asking Judge Flanagan to undo his order awarding attorney’s fees. IVGID opposed the motion and the court entered an order on September 21, 2016, denying Mr. Katz’s challenge.
In stern, but somewhat colorful language, Judge Flanagan reiterated that the court has authority to award attorney’s fees against a party who has brought a frivolous or vexatious claim. A “frivolous” claim is one that is both baseless and made without a reasonable and competent inquiry. “Vexatious” is defined as an action without reasonable cause or excuse other than to harass for annoy. The court concluded:
“…this Court can find no other explanation for [Mr. Katz]’s actions other than to unnecessarily prolong this litigation with baseless and unreasonable claims.” …
“Throughout this litigation, [Mr. Katz] has shown that the motives for his claims were nothing more than to harass and burden the Defendant with excessive public records requests. In addition, [Mr. Katz]’s actions throughout this litigation have been nothing short of appalling and a waste of judicial resources. Again, by his actions, [Mr. Katz] has led this court to one undeniable conclusion: this was a frivolous lawsuit.”
The court’s entire order can be read here: katz-v-ivgid_order-09-21-16.