Denial of Attorney’s Fees in ADA Action Gets Remanded for Discretionary Exercise on Fee Ancillary Matters.
K.C. v. Torlakson, Case No. 12-16178 (9th Cir. Aug. 11, 2014) (published), in a diversity matter, provides instructive guidance on the scope of a district court’s ancillary jurisdiction over post-judgment attorney’s fees disputes versus ancillary jurisdiction over settlement agreement enforcement motions where arguably the settlement agreement jurisdictional time limits had expired by the terms of the settlement agreement.
In reversing a denial of attorney’s fees under ADA for monitoring defense compliance with a settlement agreement, the Ninth Circuit concluded that there was a difference for ancillary jurisdiction over post-judgment fee disputes (collateral proceedings) and ancillary jurisdiction over enforcement of settlement agreements. The jurisdiction over fee disputes is broader than ancillary jurisdiction to enforce settlement agreements. So, this one had to be remanded, but with a big “caveat”—exercise of ancillary jurisdiction over a fee dispute is discretionary in nature, so this one depends on what happens in the future.