Sole v. Wyner

Topic(s): 
Attorney Fees
Docket Number: 
6-531
Documents:
Case Description: 

This case presented the question whether a plaintiff who obtains a preliminary injunction, but is denied a permanent injunction at the merits stage of the case, is entitled to attorney’s fees. The petitioners urged the Court to adopt a rule that a plaintiff who wins a preliminary injunction without a final judgment on the merits or analogous relief is never entitled to attorney's fees. Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in support of the respondents, arguing that a plaintiff who obtains a preliminary injunction may be a prevailing party entitled to attorneys’ fees, particularly when the district court never enters a final ruling on the merits. The Supreme Court held that a plaintiff whose preliminary injunction is reversed, dissolved, or otherwise undone by the final decision in the same case is not a prevailing party entitled to attorney's fees. The Court did not express a view on whether a preliminary injunction may warrant an award of attorney’s fees in the absence of a final decision on the merits.