In a post in late September, Stacy reported that yet another frivolous lawsuit filed against Governor Palin had been tossed. About a week later, I noted that the judge in the case decided that the frivolous nature of the case was so egregious that he took the unusual step of requiring the plaintiff, Chip Thoma, to reimburse Governor Palin for any and all costs she incurred as a result of his legal action. Late yesterday, via the AP, we found out just how much money Mr. Thoma’s buffoonery will cost him:
JUNEAU (AP) – Sarah Palin is seeking more than $22,000 in attorneys’ fees after a federal judge tossed a lawsuit brought against her.
Palin was represented by private attorney John Tiemessen and state Assistant Attorney General Dale House. The claims made against Palin by activist Chip Thoma dated to when Palin was governor.
The attorneys, in a court filing Monday, said Palin’s reasonable fees, including attorney and paralegal fees, total $22,418. That includes $16,680 for House’s fees and $5,738 in fees for Tiemessen’s firm.
Thoma claimed Palin acted to silence him for complaining about traffic around the governor’s mansion in 2009.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess found Thoma hadn’t provided the necessary evidence to support his claims. Burgess, in dismissing the case, said Thoma would recover nothing and Palin would recover costs.
Whether or not Mr. Thoma has $22,000 remains to be seen, but if he does I hope it’s all he has. Judgments like this serve as a powerful deterrent to those thinking about using the courts for petty political vendettas and inject a sorely needed dose of rationality into the legal system. If the other ankle biters in Alaska had been faced with the possibility of being forced to pay for their frivolity back in 2009, Governor Palin may well still be in office because none of their ludicrous “ethics complaints” would have been filed in the first place. Better late than never, I guess.