747 F.2d 1229 (8th Cir. 1984), 84-1413, Clifford v. Janklow

Docket Nº:84-1413.
Citation:747 F.2d 1229
Party Name:Linda CLIFFORD; Melvina Lesmeister and Pam James on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Appellees, v. William JANKLOW, Governor of the State of South Dakota, and James Ellenbecker, Secretary of South Dakota Department of Special Services, and the Agents, Employees and Successors of the above, Appellants.
Case Date:November 08, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 1229

747 F.2d 1229 (8th Cir. 1984)

Linda CLIFFORD; Melvina Lesmeister and Pam James on behalf

of themselves and all others similarly situated, Appellees,

v.

William JANKLOW, Governor of the State of South Dakota, and

James Ellenbecker, Secretary of South Dakota Department of

Special Services, and the Agents, Employees and Successors

of the above, Appellants.

No. 84-1413.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 8, 1984

Submitted Aug. 21, 1984.

Page 1230

Mark V. Meierhenry, Atty. Gen. and Janice Godtland, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pierre, S.D., for appellants.

Mark Falk, Rapid City, S.D., and Stephen C. Hoffman, Silver City, S.D., for appellees.

Before HEANEY, BRIGHT and ROSS, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

South Dakota Governor William Janklow and employees of that state's department of social services appeal from the district court's 1 award of $14,755 in attorney's fees to Black Hills Legal Services, Inc. (Black Hills), as the prevailing party in Clifford v. Janklow, 733 F.2d 534 (8th Cir.1984). 2 We affirm.

Black Hills originally sued the state in a class action alleging due process and equal protection violations in the state's administration of the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), for fiscal 1983. The district court enjoined the state from categorically excluding residents of subsidized and public housing, Crawford v. Janklow, 557 F.Supp. 1146 (D.S.D.1983), and this Court affirmed. Crawford v. Janklow, 710 F.2d 1321 (8th Cir.1983).

This case involves the state's revised LIEAP plan for fiscal 1984. That plan, which this Court characterized as having "a surface appeal of rationality," Clifford, 733 F.2d at 534, designates public housing residents as "partially vulnerable" to heating costs because their housing subsidies took into account heating expenses. Other low income citizens not residing in subsidized housing are "fully vulnerable" to heating costs and need not prove actual heating expenses. Id. at 536. The district court expedited its consideration of the plan and, in January 1984, found that the state's method of administration violated LIHEAA provisions, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 8624(b)(5), 8624(b)(8) & 8624(f). This Court affirmed on its reading of the latter two sections. Id. at 537.

Attorney's fees are entrusted to the district court's discretion, and this Court will not find an abuse of...

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