Goin v. HoudasheltAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court denying Plaintiff's request for attorney fees under S.D. Codified Laws 60-11-24 after Plaintiff prevailed in an action seeking unpaid wages, holding that because this case was removed for a bench trial section 60-11-24 did not apply and Plaintiff was not entitled to recover attorney fees.
After Defendant fired Plaintiff, Plaintiff brought an action in small claims court for unpaid wages. Defendant removed the action to circuit court, which ruled in favor of Plaintiff. Plaintiff requested attorney fees under section 60-11-24. The circuit court denied the request because the removal statute referenced in section 60-11-24 had been repealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in concluding that it could not award reasonable attorney fees under section 60-11-24 because of the repeal of S.D. Codified Laws 15-39-59; and (2) while attorney fees remain recoverable under section 60-11-24 for small claims cases removed to circuit court for a jury trial, this case was removed for a bench trial.