On September 11, 2018, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a published opinion regarding the award of attorneys’ fees in a Quiet Title action. In December 2016, Attorney Benjamin Gottlieb handled a 3 day jury trial in Maricopa County Superior Court, where among other things, the opposing party sought title to real property via adverse possession. The jury found in favor of Mr. Gottlieb’s clients on the quiet title and adverse possession claims, and the superior court awarded the clients attorneys’ fees.
The opposing party appealed the superior court’s award of attorneys’ fees, and on March 6, 2018, Mr. Gottlieb argued before the Court of Appeals, maintaining that the Court should uphold and affirm the superior court’s award of attorneys’ fees. In its September 11, 2018 published opinion, the Court of Appeals held that the Quiet Title statute’s prevailing-party determination is controlled by whomever prevails on the quiet title claims, and that non-quiet title claims are relevant only for purposes of deciding whether, in the court’s discretion, attorneys’ fees should be awarded and in what amount. The Court of Appeals also awarded Mr. Gottlieb’s clients attorneys’ fees on appeal.
The Court of Appeals’ opinion may be found at: https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Div1/2018/CV17-0211.pdf.