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O'Neill v. City of Shoreline

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1

August 18, 2014

Beth O'Neill et al., Respondents,
v.
The City of Shoreline et al., Appellants

Oral Argument: May 30, 2014.

Page 1100

Appeal from King County Superior Court. Docket No: 06-2-36983-1. Date filed: 07/12/2013. Judge signing: Honorable Monica Benton.

Ian Sievers, City Attorney, and Julie K Ainsworth-Taylor, Assistant ; and Ramsey E. Ramerman, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Everett, for appellants.

Michele Lynn Earl-Hubbard (of Allied Law Group LLC ) and Michael G. Brannan, for respondents.

Judith A. Endejan on behalf of Washington Coalition for Open Government, amicus curiae.

AUTHOR: J. Robert Leach, J. WE CONCUR: Linda Lau, J., Ann Schindler, J.

OPINION

Page 1101

Leach, J.

[183 Wn.App. 17] ¶ 1 The city of Shoreline and Deputy Mayor Maggie Fimia (collectively City) appeal a trial court decision awarding costs and attorney fees to Beth and Doug O'Neill under the Public Records Act.[1] The City claims that [183 Wn.App. 18] the O'Neills lost their right to this recovery because they filed their fee request more than 10 days after the court entered a stipulated judgment on their damage claim. Because the City fails to show prejudice from the O'Neills' failure to file their fee request within the time required by CR 54(d)(2), we affirm.

FACTS

¶ 2 In 2006, the O'Neills sued the City, alleging violations of the Public Records Act.[2] On August 2, 2012, on remand from our Supreme Court, the trial court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the O'Neills. In its order, the court stated,

The Court HEREBY Orders that pursuant to RCW 42.56.550(4) Plaintiffs shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and all costs incurred in this action to date, and statutory penalties, to be determined after subsequent briefing and argument. Plaintiffs shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney's fees and all costs incurred in connection with such fee and penalty motions, the amounts of which

Page 1102

shall be determined by the Court in conjunction with the fee and penalty motions.

The court denied the City's motion for reconsideration.

¶ 3 On September 18, 2012, the City made an offer of judgment to the O'Neills. This offer stated,

The Defendants, pursuant to CR 68, offer to allow judgment to be entered against them in this matter for $100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars and Zero Cents) for daily penalties. This amount does not include costs, including attorneys' fees, incurred to date, which shall be awarded in an amount ...

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