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60CV-13-2662 Clerks' Oppn to Atty Fees

60CV-13-2662 Clerks' Oppn to Atty Fees

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Published by Equality Case Files
[EQCF 128] Wright v. Arkansas (Arkansas marriage case) Opposition to Plaintiffs'' Motion for Attorney's Fees by Defendants Clerks of White, Lonoke, Washington, Conway, and Saline Counties
[EQCF 128] Wright v. Arkansas (Arkansas marriage case) Opposition to Plaintiffs'' Motion for Attorney's Fees by Defendants Clerks of White, Lonoke, Washington, Conway, and Saline Counties

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Jun 04, 2014
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06/04/2014

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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS3RD DIVISIONM. KENDALL WRIGHT, et al PLAINTIFFVS.NO. 60 CV-13-2662THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, et alDEFENDANTS RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES
Come now the Separate White, Lonoke, Washington, Conway and Saline County Clerk Defendants, White County Clerk Cheryl Evans, Lonoke County Clerk William “Larry” Clarke,Washington County Becky Lewallen, and Conway County Clerk Debbie Harman, in their officialcapacities (referred to collectively herein as the “Separate White, Lonoke, Washington, Conway, andSaline County Clerk Defendants”), and for their response to the motion for attorneys’ fees filed bythe Plaintiffs’ counsel:
I. INTRODUCTION
The Plaintiffs’ attorneys have moved for reimbursement of their attorneys’ fees and costs, presumably by the Defendants. The Plaintiffs cite no legal basis for such an award by the Court and provide no factual support for their request. Since no legal or factual bases exist to support thePlaintiff’s attorneys’ motion for fees and costs, the Separate White, Lonoke, Washington, Conway,and Saline County Defendants respectfully request the denial of Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Motion for Attorneys Fees.
II. ARGUMENTA.No Legal Basis for Fees/Costs Award
 1.No Fee-Shifting StatutePlaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees asserts only (1) that the Plaintiffs “won” and (2) thatthey should, therefore, receive reimbursement of their attorneys’ fees (presumably by the Defendants,although that is not expressly stated). That is not the law, however, as the clearly established lawof attorneys’ fees holds that attorney's fees are not allowed in Arkansas unless expressly authorized
ELECTRONICALLY FILED2014-Jun-03 15:59:3460CV-13-2662C06D02 : 3 Pages
 
 by statute.
 Elliott v. Hurst,
 307 Ark. 134, 817 S.W.2d 877 (1991);
Shelter Mut. Ins. Co. v. Kennedy,
347 Ark. 184, 189, 60 S.W.3d 458, 462 (2001). Plaintiffs’ attorneys do not cite any statute insupport of their claim for attorneys’ fees and no supporting statute exists. In its Amended, Substituted, and “Final” Order, the Court did not find any civil rights violations by any of the Defendants and did not find for the Plaintiffs under the Arkansas CivilRights Act or 42 U.S.C. §1983. Both of those statutes require a civil plaintiff 
2.Plaintiffs Did Not Seek or Recover Any Damages
The fact that the Plaintiffs did not seek, allege prove, or recover any damages in thisaction corroborates the fact that they did not prevail under section 1983 or the ARCA.WHEREFORE, the Respondents respectfully request that the Petitioners’ Motion for Attorneys Fees be denied.

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