malicious defense – defendant’s use of unfair, harassing, or illegal tactics to advance a frivolous or unmeritorious defense

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malicious defense:
(1911)

1. Torts. A defendant’s use of unfair, harassing, or illegal tactics to advance a frivolous or unmeritorious defense.  *  The elements of the tort are

(1) the defendant’s initiation, continuation, or procurement of proceedings;
(2) knowledge that the defense lacks merit;
(3) the assertion  of the defense for a purpose other than to properly adjudicate the claim, such as to harass, annoy, or injure, or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;
(4) termination of the suit in the plaintiff’s favor; and
(5) harm to the plaintiff resulting from the proceeding. 

     Damages are the same as in an action for malicious prosecution.  A minority of states recognize the tort. [1]

References:

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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

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