Senator Plans Bill on Public Interest Lawsuits

An Anchorage senator is planning legislation that would protect litigants who sue the state to protect Alaskans' rights.

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by Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska- An Anchorage senator is planning legislation that would protect litigants who sue the state to protect Alaskans' rights.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski says individuals trying to fight against government intrusion should be applauded, not punished.
His office, in a release, says a 2003 law allowed winners of public interest litigation to collect attorneys' fees, even if the losing litigants were defending the rights of all Alaskans.
Those who file what are deemed to be frivolous lawsuits would remain liable for fees, under the proposed legislation.
The proposal builds off a case before the state Supreme Court.
Former Alaska first lady Bella Hammond and constitutional delegate Vic Fischer were among the plaintiffs challenging permits for the proposed Pebble Mine but on the losing side. The state and Pebble are now seeking fees.

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Ed said on Monday, Dec 23 at 5:41 PM

Wielechowski,you're doing the right thing.

JC said on Monday, Dec 23 at 3:11 PM

Wielechowski, be careful what your are proposing can jump up and bite you. If you are going to file a suit against anyone you had better be ready to pay their fees should you lose. That has been the law and should remain so in the future. Hammond and Fischer were only interested in protecting lodges owned by their benefactor, not any other Alaskan's rights. I'm calling BS on your statements and efforts.

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