2A:15-59.1 Frivolous causes of action
1. a. (1) A party who prevails in a civil action, either as plaintiff or defendant, against any other party may be awarded all reasonable litigation costs and reasonable attorney fees, if the judge finds at any time during the proceedings or upon judgment that a complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or defense of the nonprevailing person was frivolous.
(2) When a public entity is required or authorized by law to provide for the defense of a present or former employee, the public entity may be awarded all reasonable litigation costs and reasonable attorney fees if the individual for whom the defense was provided is the prevailing party in a civil action, and if there is a judicial determination at any time during the proceedings or upon judgment that a complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, or defense of the nonprevailing party was frivolous.
b. In order to find that a complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or defense of the nonprevailing party was frivolous, the judge shall find on the basis of the pleadings, discovery, or the evidence presented that either:
(1) The complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or defense was commenced, used or continued in bad faith, solely for the purpose of harassment, delay or malicious injury; or
(2) The nonprevailing party knew, or should have known, that the complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or defense was without any reasonable basis in law or equity and could not be supported by a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.
c. A party or public entity seeking an award under this section shall make application to the court which heard the matter. The application shall be supported by an affidavit stating in detail:
(1) The nature of the services rendered, the responsibility assumed, the results obtained, the amount of time spent by the attorney, any particular novelty or difficulty, the time spent and services rendered by secretaries and staff, other factors pertinent in the evaluation of the services rendered, the amount of the allowance applied for, an itemization of the disbursements for which reimbursement is sought, and any other factors relevant in evaluating fees and costs; and
(2) How much has been paid to the attorney and what provision, if any, has been made for the payment of these fees in the future.