Missoula’s Nine Year Fight With South Avenue Property Owners May be Appealed Again
The city of Missoula lost its nine year court battle against Glen Wohl and other South Avenue property owners earlier this month, but now it appears the city will appeal so that it can escape having to pay around 35,000 dollars’ worth of attorney’s fees.
Even though Missoula Chief Administrative Officer Bruce Bender has said the city will appeal, Wohl’s attorney Tom Orr says there has been no paperwork as of yet.
"From our end, there's been no notice of appeal filed, which is the legal document necessary to perfect an appeal," Orr said. "The city has 60 days from the date of the filing of the notice of entry of judgment to file the notice of appeal to the Montana Supreme Court. Despite the statements of the city administration, that has not occurred."
Orr says an appeal from the city would likely just make the city pay more money in attorney’s fees.
"The city has taken a position that they should not have to pay the fees on appeal, which is contrary to the district court statements, contrary to the Supreme Court's statements, and contrary to case law and the Montana Constitution," Orr said. "We would estimate that the cost of defending the appeal would be approximately equal to the cost of litigating the appeal and I have estimated that to be somewhere in the neighborhood of about $30,000."
Although the city hasn’t filed yet, it still has until May seventh of this year to do so. Orr said that waiting till the last minute is the city’s “modus operendi.”