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PLRA 150% Attorney Fee Cap Applies to All Attorney Work, Including Appellate Work

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held "that the PLRA applies to all attorney fees generated by a prevailing party -- trial, post-trial, and on appeal." The PLRA, or Prison Litigation Reform Act, limits attorney fees to 150 percent of the monetary judgment.

Here, the prisoner was awarded $3,000 for a claim alleging that mail clerks opened his legal mail without authorization. The district court awarded his attorney, Daniel Manville, $4,500 in attorney fees. After appeal, Manville sought an additional $845.32 in costs and $23,242.50 in attorney fees for appellate work.

The district court held the PLRA does not apply to awards of fees and costs in appellate cases, and granted the requested award. The Sixth Circuit disagreed and reversed the award. See: Sallier v. Ramsey, 142 Fed.Appx. 905 (6th Cir. 2005) (unpublished).

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Related legal case

Sallier v. Ramsey