Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Attorney Fees
  • Date Filed: January 15, 2014
  • Case #: 12–992
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
  • Full Text Opinion

A judgment on the merits is final even if the amount or award of attorneys' fees is still pending.

Petitioner owed Respondent benefit contributions as per a collective bargaining agreement and federal law. The District Court requested that the parties submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law at the same time. Respondent planned to submit the facts and request for attorney fees at the same, but instead requested an extension and submitted at a later date. This caused the court to rule on the merits earlier than the its decision as to the motion for attorney fees. Respondent appealed both the judgment on benefit contributions and attorney fees. Petitioner objected stating that the appeal was untimely because 30 days had passed from the ruling on the merits.

The Court of Appeals held that the decision was not final and thus the appeal was timely. The appeal was timely because under the Collective Bargaining Agreement the claim of attorney's fees was a part of the merits. The Supreme Court reversed, remanded and held that a judgment on the merits is final even if the amount or award of attorneys' fees is still pending.

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