In an order and decision released on Dec. 22, Judge Erin Marston ruled that Heartbeat of Homer may receive $1,150.60 in attorney’s fees for its role as an intervenor in Aderhold et al. v. City of Homer in which three then Homer City Council members challenged a recall election against them on constitutional grounds.
After Marston ruled in favor of the city and allowed the recall election to proceed, Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds and the city agreed that both sides would each cover their own attorneys’ fees. However, Heartbeat of Homer, the group organized to support the recall, asked that 75 percent of its share of fees be paid by the plaintiffs. Marston ruled that in a case where there was not a monetary award, Alaska statutes limited the amount to 20 percent. The plaintiffs asserted that because they raised a constitutional issue, they should not have to pay any fees. Marston agreed with the plaintiffs that about half the briefings were devoted to constitutional claims. Heartbeat of Homer spent $11,506, and therefore Marston ruled they were entitled to half of 20 percent, or 10 percent, for a total of $1,150.60.