No fees for you: Court denies attorney's fees in NICS appeal case
In Ledet v. USA, the Court denied Ledet's Motion for Attorney's Fees because he is not the "prevailing party" in the litigation.
What is this case about? Well, it has to do with NICS and erroneous denials, and despite NICS having the corrected record, still denying Mr. Ledet his lawful firearm purchases. After NICS stopped processing appeals, individuals that were erroneously denied had but one option: sue the USA in federal court.
So, Mr. Ledet did that. And in less than a few months, was successful in being declared a lawful purchaser and owner of firearms. We dismissed the case and sought fees from the government. The court denied the fee motion.
When will Congress fix NICS? I've assisted in drafting some legislation that will change how these cases are litigated. For now, if the government simply rolls over immediately, like they did in this case, the Plaintiff is on the hook for his attorney's fees. If this legislation ever gets introduced and passed and signed into law, the government will be on the hook for fees. Why should an erroneously denied individual be on the hook for thousands of dollars to fix the government's mistake?
Good question. But, until Congress steps in, that's the way it is.
You can read the Opinion here.