2016 Arkansas Code
Title 25 - State Government
Chapter 19 - Freedom of Information Act of 1967
§ 25-19-107. Appeal from denial of rights -- Attorney's fees
(a) Any citizen denied the rights granted to him or her by this chapter may appeal immediately from the denial to the Pulaski County Circuit Court or to the circuit court of the residence of the aggrieved party, if the State of Arkansas or a department, agency, or institution of the state is involved, or to any of the circuit courts of the appropriate judicial districts when an agency of a county, municipality, township, or school district, or a private organization supported by or expending public funds, is involved.
(b) Upon written application of the person denied the rights provided for in this chapter, or any interested party, it shall be mandatory upon the circuit court having jurisdiction to fix and assess a day the petition is to be heard within seven (7) days of the date of the application of the petitioner, and to hear and determine the case.
(c) Those who refuse to comply with the orders of the court shall be found guilty of contempt of court.
(d) (1) In any action to enforce the rights granted by this chapter, or in any appeal therefrom, the court shall assess against the defendant reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation expenses reasonably incurred by a plaintiff who has substantially prevailed unless the court finds that the position of the defendant was substantially justified .
(2) If the defendant has substantially prevailed in the action, the court may assess expenses against the plaintiff only upon a finding that the action was initiated primarily for frivolous or dilatory purposes.
(e) (1) Notwithstanding subsection (d)(1) of this section, the court shall not assess reasonable attorney's fees or other litigation expenses reasonably incurred by a plaintiff against the State of Arkansas or a department, agency, or institution of the state.
(2) (A) A plaintiff who substantially prevailed in an action under this section against the State of Arkansas or a department, agency, or institution of the state may file a claim with the Arkansas State Claims Commission to recover reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation expenses reasonably incurred.
(B) A claim for reasonable attorney's fees and litigation expenses reasonably incurred in an action against the State of Arkansas or a department, agency, or institution of the state shall be filed with the commission pursuant to § 19-10-201 et seq. within sixty (60) days of the final disposition of the appeal under subsection (a) of this section.
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