Woman accused of running prostitution ring can’t recover attorney fees
Special to the Appeal
A woman accused of running a secret prostitution ring out of five houses in Las Vegas has been stopped from collecting more than $18,000 from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to pay her lawyers in a legal action.
The Nevada Court of Appeals has ruled there’s no law that allows the award of attorney fees in these types of cases.
Police, armed with a search warrant, seized cars, electronics, personal property and more than $50,000 in cash from the five houses of Laura Anderson.
No criminal charges were ever filed within nine months. And no action was brought for civil forfeiture.
Anderson then filed suit for the return of her property and cash. Police returned some of the items. But it said the cash and other property were part of a federal criminal investigation.
But no federal criminal charges were filed.
After Anderson filed suit, police agreed to return the property and cash. She then sought $18,255 from the police department to cover her attorney costs.
Clark County District Judge Ronald J. Israel granted her request for the fees from the police department.
Anderson maintained she was the prevailing party in her suit and was entitled to collect from the police department.
The appeals court, in a Dec. 13 ruling, said attorney fees can’t be recovered where no money judgment had been entered.
The court said this type of suit by Anderson doesn’t permit attorney fees under the law.