SENATE BILL 5801
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1997 Regular Session
By Senator Hargrove
Read first time 02/13/97. Referred to Committee on Government Operations.
AN ACT Relating to awards of fees and expenses in judicial review of agency action; and amending RCW 4.84.350.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 4.84.350 and 1995 c 403 s 903 are each amended to read as follows:
Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, a court shall award a
qualified party that prevails in a judicial review of an agency action fees and
other expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, unless the court finds ((
the agency action was substantially justified or)) that circumstances make
an award grossly unjust. A qualified party shall be considered to have
prevailed if the qualified party obtained relief on a significant issue that
achieves some benefit that the qualified party sought.
(2) The amount awarded a qualified party under subsection (1) of this section shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply unless all parties challenging the agency action are qualified parties. If two or more qualified parties join in an action, the award in total shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. The court, in its discretion, may reduce the amount to be awarded pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, or deny any award, to the extent that a qualified party during the course of the proceedings engaged in conduct that unduly or unreasonably protracted the final resolution of the matter in controversy.
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