Pourier v. S.D. Dep't of Revenue & RegulationAnnotate this Case
Loren Pourier, the owner of a corporation that operated a gas station on reservation land, brought an action against the state Department of Revenue and Regulation to protest a state motor-fuel tax imposed on the corporation. The Supreme Court held that the fuel tax was illegal in Pourier I. Pourier then filed a motion for costs and attorneys' fees. The circuit court granted the motion. The Department appealed, contending that the position it took in Pourier I was "substantially justified" under S.D. Codified Laws 10-59-34. The Supreme Court reversed after undertaking a three-pronged analysis, holding that the circuit court erred in finding the position the Department took in the Pourier litigation was not substantially justified and thus ordering the Department to pay Pourier's costs and attorneys' fees.