Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Assn. v. Chin

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-22-2021
  • Case #: A172078
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J. for the Court; James, J.; & Kamins, J. dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 31.152 does not provide authority under ORCP 54 A(3) to award “any costs and disbursements, including attorney fees, provided by contract, statute, or rule.”

Appellants appealed a decision denying attorney’s fees. Plaintiff, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, voluntarily dismissed their claims against Appellant. Appellants assigned error to the trial court’s failure to award fees, arguing that they were entitled to fees as the prevailing party. Appellants argued that ORS 31.152(3) suffices to award fees. When a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses a case, ORCP 54 A(3) authorizes the court to award “any costs and disbursements, including attorney fees, provided by  contract, statute, or rule.” The provision, itself, does not supply a source of authority for a fee award. Jackson v. Mann, 207 Or App 209, 213, 140 P3d 1165 (2006). Rather, a defendant must identify some other source of law “contract, statute, or rule” authorizing a fee award. In reviewing ORS 31.152(3), the court determined that the text was dispositive, holding that the statute does not provide for fees for prevailing in general or for prevailing on requests for relief that are not special motions to strike. Affirmed.

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