Sloan v. South Carolina Department of Revenue (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-098-14, 6 pp.) (John Kittredge, J.) (Costa Pleicones, J., joined by Kaye Hearn, J., concurring in part & dissenting in part) Appealed from Richland County Circuit Court (G. Thomas Cooper Jr., J.) S.C. S. Ct.
Holding: Even though, after plaintiff filed this action under the Freedom of Information Act, the defendant-agency produced the records he had requested and thereby mooted plaintiff’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief, plaintiff was nevertheless the prevailing party. As such, plaintiff was entitled to attorney’s fees under S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-100(b).
We affirm the circuit court’s ruling on declaratory and injunctive relief but reverse and remand for an award of attorney’s fees.
(Pleicones, J.) Where the award of fees and costs to the prevailing party in a FOIA suit is within the discretion of the trial court, and where the trial court in this case declined to exercise its discretion, I would remand this case to circuit court for reconsideration.