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Swapinski v. Lincoln County

Swapinski v. Lincoln County, 2015 MT 275 (Sept. 15, 2015) (Wheat, J.; Rice, J. concurring) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred by issuing an order prepared by the county’s attorneys; (2) whether the district court abused its discretion by considering rates charged by Kalispell attorneys in deciding whether the county’s attorney fees were reasonable; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in awarding supplemental attorney fees to the county.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; and (3) yes.

Affirmed as to reasonableness of fees and reversed on fees-for-fees

Facts: Swapinski filed a complaint against Lincoln County and several commissioners in 2014, alleging certain errors in the resignations and appointments of Lincoln County Commissioners. The district court granted summary judgment to the county in September 2014.…