COSTS AND MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS IN CIVIL ACTIONS
12-123. Sanctions for frivolous conduct in a civil case. (1) As used in this section:
(a) "Conduct" means filing a civil action, asserting a claim, defense, or other position in connection with a civil action, or taking any other action in connection with a civil action.
(b) "Frivolous conduct" means conduct of a party to a civil action or of his counsel of record that satisfies either of the following:
(i) It obviously serves merely to harass or maliciously injure another party to the civil action;
(ii) It is not supported in fact or warranted under existing law and cannot be supported by a good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing law.
(2) (a) In accordance with the provisions of this section, at any time prior to the commencement of the trial in a civil action or within twenty-one (21) days after the entry of judgment in a civil action, the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to any party to that action adversely affected by frivolous conduct.
(b) An award of reasonable attorney’s fees may be made by the court upon the motion of a party to a civil action, but only after the court does the following:
(i) Sets a date for a hearing to determine whether particular conduct was frivolous; and
(ii) Gives notice of the date of the hearing to each party or counsel of record who allegedly engaged in frivolous conduct and to each party allegedly adversely affected by frivolous conduct; and
(iii) Conducts the hearing to determine if the conduct was frivolous, whether any party was adversely affected by the conduct if it is found to be frivolous, and to determine if an award is to be made, the amount of that award. In connection with the hearing, the court may order each party who may be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and his counsel of record to submit to the court, for consideration in determining the amount of any such award, an itemized list of the legal services necessitated by the alleged frivolous conduct, the time expended in rendering the services, and the attorney’s fees associated with those services. Additionally, the court shall allow the parties and counsel of record involved to present any other relevant evidence at the hearing.
(c) The amount of an award that is made pursuant to this section shall not exceed the attorney’s fees that were both reasonably incurred by a party and necessitated by the frivolous conduct.
(d) An award of reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to this section may be made against a party, his counsel of record, or both.
(3) An award of reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to this section does not affect or determine the amount of or the manner of computation of attorney’s fees as between an attorney and the attorney’s client.
(4) The provisions of this section do not affect or limit the application of any civil rule or another section of the Idaho Code to the extent that such a rule or section prohibits an award of attorney’s fees or authorizes an award of attorney’s fees in a specified manner, generally, or subject to limitations.
[12-123, added 1987, ch. 278, sec. 8, p. 580.]