Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 15,400+ case briefs...

Fox v. Vice

United States Supreme Court
131 S. Ct. 2205 (2011)


Ricky Fox (plaintiff) ran against incumbent Billy Ray Vice (defendant) for the office of chief of police in the Town of Vinton (Vinton) (defendant) in Louisiana. Vice engaged in various dirty tricks to force Fox out of the race, including sending an anonymous letter threatening to publish charges against Fox, as well as arranging for a third party to accuse Fox of using racial slurs and file a groundless criminal complaint against Fox. Fox nevertheless won the election, and Vice was convicted of criminal extortion for his election misconduct. Fox brought suit against Vice and Vinton in Louisiana state court for state-law claims and federal civil-rights claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Vice removed the federal claims to federal court and moved for summary judgment. Fox conceded that the federal claims were not valid, and the federal district court dismissed the claims with prejudice. The district court also declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims and remanded those claims to state court. Vice asked the federal district court for an award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 because the federal claims were meritless. In support, Vice submitted attorney-billing records for the whole suit, without differentiating between the work defending the federal claims and the work defending the state claims, which were not found frivolous. The district court granted Vice’s motion for attorneys’ fees without requiring Vice to separate out the work for federal and state claims. Fox appealed, arguing that attorneys’ fees under § 1988 could only be awarded if all the claims in the suit were frivolous. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kagan, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 321,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,400 briefs, keyed to 210 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.