Clackamas County Oregon v. Clackamas River Water

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 08-24-2016
  • Case #: A157776
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J., For the Court; Ortega, P.J. & Armstrong, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 258.046, an election contest proceeding should have a prevailing party, even if a claim does not exist, and the prevailing party should be entitled to a mandatory fee award.

Contestor appealed the trial court’s supplemental judgment awarding Clackamas River Water (CRW) attorney fees. Contestor argued that CRW is not a prevailing party under ORCP 68 or ORS 20.077 because it did not prevail on any claims. This Court found that ORS 258.046(1) mandates the trial court to award fees to CRW and not ORCP 68 or ORS 20.077. ORS 258.046(1) provides that the prevailing party in a contest proceeding shall recover costs, disbursements and reasonable attorney fees. This Court further states that the legislature’s intention with ORS 258.046(1) was that an election contest proceeding would have a prevailing party, even if a claim does not exist, and the prevailing party would be entitled to a mandatory fee award. The Court held that since Contestor did not prove CRW was not the prevailing party, there is no basis to set aside the trial court’s conclusion. Affirmed.

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