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In re Marriage of Hoffman

Court of Appeals of Oregon

May 24, 2017

In the Matter of the Marriage of John N. HOFFMAN, Petitioner-Respondent, and Marlee Ravenscroft HOFFMAN, Respondent-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted April 20, 2017

         Marion County Circuit Court 14DR09031; Jamese Lou Rhoades, Judge.

          James D. Van Ness argued the cause and fled the brief for appellant.

          George W. Kelly argued the cause and fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Judge, and Lagesen, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Wife appeals from a dissolution of marriage judgment, assigning error, in part, to the trial court's award of attorney fees to husband.

         Held:

         The trial court erred in awarding attorney fees to husband because it did not comport with the procedural requirements of ORCP 68.

         Attorney fee award vacated and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

         [285 Or.App. 676] ORTEGA, P. J.

         Wife appeals from a dissolution of marriage judgment, assigning error to the trial court's custody and spousal support determinations, as well as the court's award of attorney fees to husband. We affirm the custody and spousal support awards without further discussion. We write only to address the attorney fee issue, and vacate and remand.

         The relevant facts are mostly procedural in nature. Husband filed a petition for dissolution, indicating that wife should be required to pay his attorney fees only if the matter was contested. It was. In his trial memorandum, husband then asked the court to award reasonable attorney fees "pursuant to ORCP 68" because wife had failed to cooperate in the discovery process and in resolving a tax matter. Section C(4) of ORCP 68 states that the procedure for seeking attorney fees or costs and disbursements

"'shall be as follows': a party seeking fees 'shall' file an affidavit with the court, serve it on the opposing party, and, if there are objections, a hearing 'shall' be held and the parties 'shall be given a reasonable opportunity to present ...

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