The Appellate Group

Fisher v. Davidhizar

Fisher v. Davidhizar, 2021 UT App 38 (Hagen, J.)

Civil Procedure

The court of appeals remanded Fisher II for the limited purpose of determining which party, if any, was entitled to attorney fees as the prevailing party. The district court concluded that Lavern Davidhizar was the prevailing party and awarded attorney fees against the Fishers. It also added the Fisher’s son, David, as a judgment debtor on a counterclaim to a claim his parents had purchased after he filed for bankruptcy, even though no motion had been filed seeking that relief. David appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed, holding:

  • The district court erred when it added David as a judgment debtor to a counterclaim. The appellate court vacated the amended judgment.
  • The district court erred when it considered David’s counterclaim as part of the prevailing party analysis. But the court did not abuse its discretion when it ultimately found that Lavern was the prevailing party against the Fishers: the Fishers brought a breach of contract claim against Lavern, which Lavern successfully defended.

Read the full court opinion