Allow for Recoup of Defendant's Expenses for Wrongfully Filed Lawsuits
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Hello, my name is Kendall Thistle. I am your average blue collar worker who works more than 40 hours a week to support my family. I am just like you who are reading this. My family experienced a financially devastating lawsuit over storm water and property rights. Ozaukee County, Wisconsin (Case #11CV144).
The short version of a very long 3.5 year court case is that the plaintiff-a school district-had unlimited funds to keep suing my family. The school district knew they would lose the case in the courts, so they decided to prolong my day in court as long as they could. By doing this, they forced me to deplete my life savings in order to defend myself against false accusations made by the plaintiff. This is a technique that many big businesses use when they know the defendants cannot afford to keep defending themselves.
In the end, the plaintiff requested a dismissal from the courts on the eve of trial without ever granting us our day in court to prove our innocence. We were not awarded any reimbursements for the money we should have never had to pay. The judge said that the law does not allow for our legal expenses to be reimbursed. Judge Malloy said, “I understand and have sympathy for the Thistles that you get yourself involuntarily dragged into this lawsuit. I didn’t just decline, though” Malloy said, “I said I would like to, but I’m constrained by what the law is.”
The average Joe cannot afford to pay 3.5 years of legal fees which is why this court case, and abuse of the legal system, bankrupted us.
The bottom line is the justice system is supposed to protect its citizens who are in the right. We were, but a plaintiff with unlimited funds worked the system to shut us up. The people need a voice; you need a voice.
Together, we can get our lawmakers to put an end to this type of system abuse. Let’s tell our lawmakers that the middle class matters, and we deserve a justice system that works FOR us not AGAINST us.
We want judges in cases that are dismissed to be allowed to decide if there was an abuse of the system and award defense costs. If changing the law to make defense costs recoverable is something you agree with, please sign the petition so my local state senator can take action to start this change.
Below are links to my original court case as it made local news:
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