Archive | Private attorney general doctrine

RSS feed for this section

Clark Fork Coalition v. Tubbs

Clark Fork Coalition v. Tubbs, 2017 MT 184 (July 25, 2017) (Baker, J.; McKinnon, J., specially concurring) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the Coalition was entitled to attorney fees under the private attorney general doctrine following it successful challenge to the DNRC’s exempt-well rule.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: The Clark Fork Coalition and other plaintiffs challenged a DNRC rule regarding groundwater appropriations exempt from permitting requirements (the exempt-well rule). The district court invalidated the rule and this Court affirmed. Clark Fork I, 2016 MT 229.

Prior to this Court’s decision in Clark Fork I, the Coalition had moved for fees under the PAG doctrine and the district court had granted the motion. The court held that the DNRC’s promulgation of the 1993 rule was not a quasi0judicial function, and reasoning that the litigation implicated constitutional interests.…

Gateway Village v. DEQ

Gateway Village v. DEQ, 2015 MT 285 (Sept. 29, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in its ruling on Gateway Village’s trespass claim and in declining to address the district’s claim that it holds a prescriptive easement under Gateway Village’s land; and (2) whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Gateway Village’s claim for attorneys’ fees.

Short Answer: (1) Neither of these issues are ripe for adjudication in light of the district court’s remand to DEQ for preparation of an EIS; and (2) no.

Vacated (1), affirmed (2), and remanded

Facts: Montana DEQ granted Gallatin Gateway County Water & Sewer District a wastewater discharge permit allowing the District to discharge up to 50,000 gallons of treated domestic wastewater each day into an underground mixing zone underneath land owned by Gateway Village.…