Tuesday, November 06, 2012

attorney fees - sec. 1988 - prevailing party - no money damages

Lefemine v. Wideman – US SCt – November 5, 2012


Per Curiam
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

STEVEN LEFEMINE, DBA COLUMBIA CHRISTIANS FOR LIFE v. DAN WIDEMAN ET AL.

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

No. 12–168. Decided November 5, 2012

PER CURIAM.

This case concerns the award of attorney’s fees in a suitalleging unconstitutional conduct by government officials. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuitheld that a plaintiff who secured a permanent injunction but no monetary damages was not a “prevailing party” under 42 U. S. C. §1988, and so could not receive fees.That was error. Because the injunction ordered the de­fendant officials to change their behavior in a way thatdirectly benefited the plaintiff, we vacate the Fourth Circuit's decision and remand for further proceedings.

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