Halone’s Auto Repair v. B & R Auto Wrecking

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 08-22-2012
  • Case #: A147503
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Edmonds, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When a trial court’s judgment cites multiple authorities for awarding attorney fees, the rejection of one cited basis does not render the trial court’s judgment erroneous.

On appeal, Halone’s Auto Repair (Halone) assigned error to a judgment in favor of B & R Auto Wrecking (B&R). Halone sought damages in small claims court for the replacement cost of a defective engine purchased from B&R. The case was transferred to circuit court, then referred to an arbitrator who ruled in favor of B&R, and awarded attorney fees. Halone objected to the attorney fees, and the arbitrator vacated the judgment to consider the issue. Halone filed a notice of appeal and request for trial de novo before the arbitrator filed a decision. B&R filed an answer counterclaiming for damages and attorney fees under four separate statutes. The trial court entered a judgment listing all of the statutes cited by B&R, and naming David A. Delong dba Halone’s Auto Repair as the judgment debtor. The Court found that the trial court erred in naming an individual partner of Halone as judgment debtor when only the partnership was identified previously. The Court found that B&R was correctly awarded attorney fees under ORS 36,425(4), concluding the other listed statutes were superfluous. Judgment vacated; remanded for entry of a judgment awarding attorney fees and costs to B&R and identifying Halone as the judgment debtor; otherwise affirmed.

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