Kuehl v. Sellner

Topic(s): 
Attorney Fees
Documents:
Case Description: 

In this case, private plaintiffs prevailed in a citizen suit under the Endangered Species Act against private defendants and obtained an enforceable order requiring the defendants to transfer endangered species in their possession to a facility capable of meeting the needs of the animals. Despite their success, the district court declined to award attorneys’ fees and costs to the plaintiffs. On behalf of Public Citizen, we filed an amicus brief explaining that the plaintiffs were entitled to a fee award because they were prevailing parties and no special circumstances justified a denial of fees. The amicus brief further explains that the  district court’s denial of fees runs counter to the policies underlying fee-shifting statutes, especially in a case brought under the Endangered Species Act citizen-suit provision.