Idaho Supreme Court Justices on Tuesday reversed a March 2013 District Court decision to fine Fremont County Prosecutor Karl Lewies.
District Judge Gregory Moeller ordered Lewies to pay $1,185 in legal fees incurred by Fremont County. Those fees stemmed from Lewies filing petitions against the county on behalf of two pri-vate clients. At the time, he was the county’s prosecutor-elect and had not yet taken office.
A months-long legal battle resulted in Lewies and the Fremont County Prosecutor’s Office withdrawing from representing either the clients or the county.
Moeller ordered Lewies to pay the attorneys fees, citing Rule 11 of the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure.
The rule allows judges to order monetary sanctions against attorneys who disrupt the legal administrative process.
Lewies then filed an appeal, arguing Moeller was biased against him and that Rule 11 sanctions were improperly used.
The justices issued an opinion Tuesday disregarding the claim that Moeller was biased, ruling instead that Rule 11 didn’t apply and Lewies won’t have to pay the fine.
Efforts to reach Lewies for comment were unsuccessful Thursday.
Reporter Ali Tadayon can be reached at 542-6746.