SEATTLE — A federal appeals court last week ordered activist Anne Block to reimburse Snohomish County and the city of Gold Bar about $78,000 in attorney fees, after affirming a lower court’s decision to toss out her case.
In its April 27 ruling, a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Block’s federal lawsuit against county and city officials was “entirely groundless and frivolous.”
Block is best known as a prolific public records requester with axes to grind against current and former employees of Gold Bar and Snohomish County government. She also writes a blog about civic issues. She has been embroiled in years of litigation against public officials.
A U.S. District Court judge in 2015 dismissed a lawsuit Block had filed a year earlier, characterizing her assertions as “implausible,” “incomprehensible” or involving activities that weren’t violations of federal law.
Block, who at the time was licensed to practice law in Washington, later made the same allegations in another federal suit. As a defendant in that case, she added the Washington State Bar Association, which was investigating whether she had violated rules of professional conduct for attorneys. Her second federal case was dismissed as well.
In 2016, the state Supreme Court’s chief justice signed an order that disbarred Block, based on the bar association’s findings.
The attorney fees were set out in a judgment from June 2016. It awarded a combined $24,495 plus interest for the cost of defending the city of Gold Bar and former Mayor Joe Beavers. It also granted $53,905 plus interest for the cost of the attorneys who defended various Snohomish County officials named in the suit.