What is Abusive Litigation?
Abusive litigation is any motion, pleading, petition, or other North Dakota state court filing in which:
- The parties have or had an intimate partner relationship, or a court determined under North Dakota Century Code Section 14-07.1-02 that the relationship between parties was enough to issue a domestic violence restraining order (an intimate partner is a spouse, former spouse, have a child together, or have or had a dating relationship);
- A court of North Dakota or another state issued an order against the party who filed the abusive litigation that found they committed an act of domestic violence or disorderly conduct against the other party, or the party who filed the abusive litigation has a prior conviction under North Dakota Century Code Chapter 12.1-17 relating to domestic violence against the other party;
- The party who filed the motion, pleading, petition, or other North Dakota state court filing is using the litigation to harass, intimidate, maintain contact with, or retaliate against the other party;
- At least one of the following is true:
- Claims, allegations, and other legal contentions made in the litigation aren’t warranted by existing law or by a reasonable argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, or the establishment of new law;
- Allegations and other factual contentions made in the litigation lack evidentiary support;
- The actions comprising the basis of the litigation have previously been filed or litigated in one or more other courts or jurisdictions and have been disposed of unfavorably against the party who filed, initiated, advanced, or continued the litigation; or
- The party who filed the litigation has been previously sanctioned for filing, initiating, advancing, or continuing litigation found to be frivolous, vexatious, intransigent, or brought in bad faith.
What Happens if a Judge or Judicial Referee Decides the Motion, Pleading, Petition, or other Court Filing is Abusive Litigation?
If the judge or judicial referee decides that all or part of the litigation is abusive litigation, the abusive litigation is dismissed with prejudice. “Dismissed with prejudice” means the party who filed the abusive litigation can’t file that specific litigation again.
- If the judge or judicial referee decides any part of the litigation wasn’t abusive, that part is allowed to move forward.
The party who filed the abusive litigation is ordered to pay the other party’s costs of the abusive litigation. The judge or judicial referee decides the amount the must be paid and includes the amount in the order.
The party who filed the abusive litigation is ordered to pay the other party’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, if the other party was represented by a lawyer when responding to the abusive litigation. The judge or judicial referee decides the amount that must be paid and includes the amount in the order.
The party who filed the abusive litigation is required to get permission from the judge or judicial referee before they can start any new litigation against the other party.
Forms and Guides:
North Dakota Legal Self Help Center forms aren’t official court forms and courts aren’t required to accept them. There’s no guarantee that all judges and courts will accept forms available through the Center. Use at your own risk.
Forms aren’t available for every legal issue, circumstance or procedure in a district court civil action. If you don’t find a form on this website, the form isn’t available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center.
You may need to create legal documents yourself. The General-Use forms in the District Court Civil Action Section of this website may be used as a starting point for creating your own legal documents.
Forms for Motions to Restrict Abusive Litigation:
- Motion to Restrict Abusive Litigation (No Attorney Fees)
- May be used by a self-represented party who wasn’t represented by a lawyer when responding to the abusive litigation.
Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules
Following are legal research starting points related to abusive litigation. You may need to conduct additional legal research into your legal issue. See the Legal Research Section of this website.
- Chapter 14-07.6 of the North Dakota Century Code
- Rule 8.15 of the North Dakota Rules of Court
- Rule 3.2 of the North Dakota Rules of Court
- Rule 58 of the North Dakota Supreme Court Administrative Rules
Following are other resources related to abusive litigation that may be of interest.
- Domestic Violence Protection Orders
- Disorderly Conduct Restraining Orders
- Sexual Assault Restraining Orders
- Register Out-of-State or Tribal Court Protection Order
If you don’t understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, consult a lawyer for help.
The information provided on and obtained from this site doesn’t constitute the official record of the Court. This information is provided as a service to the general public. Any user of this information is hereby advised that it is being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court isn’t liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided.
If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.