In Searcy v. ADA County, 2012 DJDAR 1099 (BAP 2012), the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (the “BAP”) for the Ninth Circuit decided whether a fee award rendered against a prisoner under Idaho State law was a dischargeable debt under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
The court concluded it was not and affirmed the decision to exempt the award from a bankruptcy discharge.
A prisoner sued a county government (the “County”) alleging civil rights claims. The district court concluded that the litigation had no merit and granted summary judgment in the County’s favor. In addition, the judge awarded $7,944 in attorney fees to the County pursuant to Idaho Code Section 31-3220A(16).
Pursuant to that Idaho statute, the court has the power to award attorney fees in a case brought by a prisoner where the action is found to be frivolous or where a claim cannot be stated as a matter of law.
Please see full article below for more information.
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