U.S. Supreme Court
‘Empty-handed’ Plaintiff Can’t Win Fees
Posted Jun 4, 2007 12:40 PM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a party that loses a civil rights case on the merits cannot recover attorney fees, even if it wins a preliminary injunction in the case.
The unanimous opinion was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, SCOTUSblog reports.
“A plaintiff who achieves a transient victory at the threshold of an action can gain no award under [a] fee-shifting provision if, at the end of the litigation, her initial success is undone and she leaves the courthouse empty-handed," Ginsburg wrote.
Jurist says the decision reverses the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta.
The opinion is Sole v. Wyner, No. 06-531 (PDF).