What Fees Can Public Entities Recover From Successful Litigation


In federal civil rights litigation, a successful plaintiff suing a public entity may ordinarily recover his or her attorneys fees. But when the public entity defendant prevails, it may also recover its attorneys fees from the unsuccessful plaintiff. This article examines exactly which fees the public entity may recover in cases where the losing plaintiff has joined both frivolous and non-frivolous claims in the same lawsuit.

The federal civil rights statute generally provides the court with discretion to allow the "prevailing party" a reasonable attorney's fee as part of its costs. However, there are two exceptions: the United States cannot recover its attorneys fees under this statute, and "judicial officers" cannot be held liable for the prevailing plaintiff's legal fees unless they take action that is "clearly in excess" of their jurisdiction.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.