Articles Posted in Idaho Supreme Court - Civil

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Inclusion, Inc., Inclusion North, Inc., and Inclusion South, Inc., (collectively Inclusion) provided residential rehabilitation support services to Idahoans eligible for Medicaid. In September 2012, Inclusion filed a complaint against the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW), alleging IDHW breached binding Medicaid Provider Agreements by failing to adequately reimburse Inclusion for its services. In June 2013, Inclusion amended its complaint with unjust enrichment and quasi-estoppel claims. The district court granted summary judgment for IDHW, concluding no triable issue of fact supported Inclusion’s claims. IDHW then moved for attorney fees under Idaho Code section 12-120(3) and requested $74,925.00 in fees. The district court found that IDHW’s requested award was based on a reasonable amount of hours and a reasonable hourly rate, as determined by the Boise market. As the district court acknowledged, “the hourly rate requested is reasonable and certainly well within the rate in the marketplace in the Fourth District in Ada County, in particular.” Even so, the district court took issue with how IDHW’s requested award was not based on the actual hourly rate billed during litigation. As the district court explained, “[e]xcept where the award of attorney fees is paid to the lawyer, fees awarded to a party should not exceed the amount the client actually paid for the lawyer.” To that end, the district court multiplied 599.4 hours of work by $54.00 per hour1 to award a total of $30,857.11. IDHW moved to reconsider, but the district court upheld the award for $30,857.11. IDHW timely appealed, arguing the district court abused its discretion by basing the award on the amount billed by the Attorney General. The Supreme Court agreed, vacated the judgment and granted IDHW its requested award. View "Inclusion, Inc v. Id. Dept. of Health & Welfare" on Justia Law

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The issue in this appeal centered on whether a force majeure clause in a written contract between the county and a developer did not apply to the developer’s failure to obtain zoning approval in order to construct the cement plant required in the agreement. After review of the contract and the clause at issue here, the Supreme Court held that the clause was broad enough to apply. Accordingly, the Court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded this case for further proceedings. View "Burns Concrete, Inc v. Teton County" on Justia Law

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This case involved a second set of appeals arising from an action challenging the bidding process for the Idaho Education Network (“IEN”). Syringa Networks, LLC, sued Qwest Communications, LLC, ENA Services, LLC, and the Idaho Department of Administration (“DOA”) and certain DOA employees, alleging injury arising from contract awards and amendments that DOA issued to Qwest and ENA related to the IEN. The district court dismissed all of Syringa’s claims. On appeal the Idaho Supreme Court held that Syringa had standing to pursue Count Three, which alleged that DOA violated Idaho Code section 67-5718A. Count Three was remanded to the district court for further proceedings. On remand, the district court entered partial summary judgment for Syringa on Count Three, holding that the amendments and the underlying contracts were void for violating state procurement law. The district court denied Syringa’s motion to order DOA to demand repayment of money advanced under the void contracts. The district court also awarded Syringa attorney fees. Syringa, Qwest, ENA, and DOA each appealed: Syringa appealed the district court’s denial of its request to order DOA to demand repayment from Qwest and ENA; the other parties appealed the district court’s grant of partial summary judgment to Syringa, arguing that the district court’s conclusions were procedurally improper and substantively incorrect for a variety of reasons. DOA also challenges the district court’s award of attorney fees to Syringa. Finding no reversible error in the district court's judgment, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Syringa Networks v. Dept of Administration" on Justia Law

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Appellant, the Greater Boise Auditorium District, filed a petition for judicial confirmation (pursuant to Idaho Code section 7-1304) asking the district court for a determination that a lease the District intended to enter into did not violate the Constitution’s Article VIII, section 3 clause prohibiting a municipal body, without voter approval, from incurring indebtedness or liabilities greater than it has funds to pay for in the fiscal year. Respondent, Boise resident and property owner David Frazier, objected to the requested judicial confirmation, and appeared in the case to contest it. The district court denied the Petition for Judicial Confirmation and the District appealed. Frazier sought attorneys’ fees on appeal. After review, the Supreme Court reversed the district court’s denial of the District’s request for judicial confirmation and held that the agreements into which it entered satisfied Article VIII, section 3 of the Constitution. View "Greater Boise Auditorium District v. Frazier" on Justia Law