Stockport Mountain V. Norcross Wildlife Foundation (Stockport III)

US District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania, January 13, 2014, No. 3:11cv514: Attorneys fees and costs approved for easement defense.

As reported here in August 2013, the court had previously found that a conservation easement held by Norcross unambiguously bans fracking. Norcross then sought payment from Stockport of Norcross’ attorneys fees and court costs. Section 7.2 of the Easement provides, in relevant part, that “any costs incurred by Grantee [Norcross] in enforcing the terms of this Easement against Grantor [Stockport], including, without limitation, costs of suit, expert witness fees and attorneys’ fees… shall be born by Grantor.” Stockport objected to a portion of the fee payment sought by Norcross as excessive or unnecessary because they were not incurred in “enforcing” the terms of the Easement. The court found such fees were reasonable and therefore ordered Stockport to pay them.

The court’s memorandum and order is available at  http://courtweb.pamd.uscourts.gov/courtwebsearch/pamd/tW90JNKhV1.pdf#xml=http://courtweb.pamd.uscourts.gov/courtweb/PDFResult.aspx.

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