Iowa Court of Appeals Awards Attorney Fees Against the IDNR
by James Pray
Friday, April 10, 2015
On April 8, 2015, the Iowa Court of Appeals awarded Monroe ("Monte") Branstad the attorney fees of attorney James Pray in the amount of $71,000 and an additional amount to be decided on remand for appellate fees. Monte Branstad was deemed to be the prevailing party in his appeal against a fish-kill assessment levied against him by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Iowa law allows parties who prevail against state agencies to be awarded attorney fees if the case meets certain conditions, including a finding that the government's action was not supported by substantial evidence. This serves to protect parties who must hire lawyers to defend themselves from illegal governmental actions.