Lawsuit against officials dismissed

Sieverdings ordered to pay defendants' attorney fees in case

A judge has upheld a magistrate's recommendation to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by a former Steamboat Springs family against more than 30 defendants, including numerous city officials.

Kay and David Sieverding of Verona, Wis., filed the lawsuit last year in U.S. District Court in Denver. Among the defendants named were the Colorado Bar Association, several past and present Steamboat Springs City Council members, several Steamboat attorneys, Steamboat law enforcement officers, Steamboat insurance agents and the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

On Oct. 14, Magistrate Judge O. Edward Schlatter issued a recommendation for dismissal of all claims in Kay Sieverding et al. vs. Colorado Bar Association et al. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Edward W. Nottingham issued an order accepting Schlatter's recommendation.

In addition to dismissing the lawsuit and all pending motions, Nottingham's ruling orders the Sieverdings to pay attorney fees and costs incurred by all defendants since Jan. 30, 2003. The order also bars the Sieverdings from pursuing further litigation in the case without being represented by counsel. Kay Sieverding had represented the family in the lawsuit.

Kay Sieverding had objected to Schlatter's recommendation to dismiss the lawsuit; however, Nottingham ruled against those objections.

"The objections suffer from the same defects as plaintiff's other submissions," Nottingham wrote. "They are prolix, unorganized, incomprehensible and (to the extend that the court can discern any thread in the argument) legally twisted."

Nottingham recommitted the case to Schlatter to determine attorney fees and costs to be awarded.

On Monday, Schlatter gave the defendants named in the case until April 5 to submit verified statements of attorney fees and costs. The plaintiffs have until April 20 to file objections to those fees and costs, according to Schlatter's order.