Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Attorney Fees Awarded for Unpreparedness Do Not Require a Needs Analysis

Anderson v. Anderson, 2010 UT App 392 (Utah Court of Appeals December 30, 2010).

Wife appealed several portions of the district court's order.  One such appeal was taken from the Court's order that she pay Husband's attorney fees for a hearing at which she was not prepared and requested a continuance only at the time of the hearing.  The basis of her appeal was that no fees should be awarded because the trial court failed to analyze Husband's need for the fees, Wife's ability to pay the fees, and the reasonableness of the fees.  

The Court of Appeals found that no such analysis was necessary because the awarded attorney fees were not awarded under Utah Code Ann. 30-3-3, but were awarded under the district court's inherent powers to sanction parties for waste of judicial resources.

Wife next appealed the entry of the order without ruling on wife's objection to the order.  There is no rule that requires a court to rule on an objection prior to entering an order that is at the heart of the objection.  In fact, that argument has been specifically rejected by the court.  Affirmed on all grounds

See full decision at

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