Goodsell v. Eagle-Air Estates Homeowners Assn.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: 08-31-2016
  • Case #: A156532
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A156532.pdf
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 94.719 establishes attorney fee entitlement for the prevailing party of legal proceedings involving a homeowner’s association. ORS 94.719 is a compulsory fee statute that applies if there is a single prevailing party on each claim at the end of litigation.

Defendants appealed the trial court’s assessment of attorney fees, arguing  that the trial court erred in concluding they were not entitled to attorney fees for unsuccessful stages of litigation, notwithstanding that Defendants were ultimately the prevailing party. ORS 94.719 establishes attorney fee entitlement for the prevailing party of legal proceedings involving a homeowner’s association. ORS 94.719 is a compulsory fee statute that applies if there is a single prevailing party on each claim at the end of litigation. Since the action was brought to enforce compliance with various statutes and rules incorporated within ORS 94.719, the trial court did not err in concluding Defendants were entitled to attorney fees under the statute. Defendants were the prevailing party under ORS 94.719 because plaintiffs’ action against them was dismissed, and because nothing in these circumstances supported a finding to the contrary. The trial court erred in concluding that Defendants, as a matter of law, could not recover attorney fees incurred during an intermediate state of the litigation at which Defendants lost. Defendant, as the prevailing party, were entitled to reasonable attorney fees for the entire case. On crossappeal the trial court did not err in awarding attorney fees. Reversed and remanded for reconsideration.

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