Wohl v. City of MissoulaAnnotate this Case
After the City decided to undertake road improvements along South Avenue in Missoula, Montana, Plaintiffs, a group of landowners who owned property along South Avenue, contested the City’s assessment of the width of the right-of-way on a section of the street. The district court concluded that the City’s actions constituted a taking. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded for a redetermination of damages. Plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing asking the Court to award both attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the appeal. The Supreme Court denied the petition. On remand, Plaintiffs agreed to reduce their “taken property” value and asked the district court to assess both attorney’s fees and costs against the City for the appeal. The district court determined that Plaintiffs were the prevailing party on appeal and awarded them appellate attorney’s fees and costs. The City appealed, arguing that the Court’s refusal to award fees in its order on rehearing constituted “law of the case.” The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s award of appellate attorney’s fees and costs, holding that the district court correctly concluded that Plaintiffs had a constitutional right to be made whole through an award of attorney fees and costs on appeal.