All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 14, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

John R. Anderson and Mark W. Litchford, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rebecca Little.

Attorneys 2:

Phillip A. Noblett and Keith J. Reisman, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Chattanooga.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This appeal questions the propriety of the trial court’s award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 10-7-505(g) (Supp. 2013). The statute provides that an award of fees and costs can be made when a municipality wrongfully fails to disclose public documents requested pursuant to the Public Records Act. In the prior appeal of this action, this Court determined that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to award the plaintiff fees and costs she incurred in seeking the disclosure of public documents from the City of Chattanooga pursuant to the referenced statute. Upon remand, the plaintiff filed a petition seeking attorney’s fees and costs exceeding $70,000.00. The trial court found that the total fees and costs sought by the plaintiff were unreasonable and excessive, and the court reduced the amount of fees awarded to $50,284.50. The court also reduced the costs awarded for mileage and court reporter charges. Plaintiff appeals. We reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand for entry of an award of the full amount of fees and costs sought.