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Lawyer fined for wasting the court’s time in Chad Daybell triple murder trial

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - A Mountain Home attorney who tried to stop the Chad Daybell trial just two days before it was scheduled to begin has been ordered to pay for his move.

Seventh District Judge Steven Boyce has ordered Terry Ratliff to pay the fees of the court and the lawyers in the Chad Daybell triple-murder trial after he filed an error-filled motion at 11:42 p.m. on March 29, 2024, the Friday before jury selection began.

The lawyer, Terry Ratliff, isn’t affiliated with either the defense or prosecution.

In the hearing, Judge Boyce told Ratliff, “When I reviewed this, I was angry, and I’m angrier now in light of what you did.”

In a fiery 20-minute hearing on April 18, 2024, Judge Steven Boyce chastised Ratliff for his motion to delay the trial.

Also present at the hearing were Chad Daybell and his attorney John Prior, and the Prosecution team.

“This caused real loss for the attorneys and the court,” Boyce said.

He asked the attorneys for both the defense and the prosecution to itemize the time they had spent in what he called the frivolous hearing. Boyce held the hearing after sending the jury home for the day but allowed cameras to record the event.

At that time, he sanctioned Ratliff, and now we are hearing the amount he will have to pay.

The court ruling states the fines as follows.

Counsel for the defendant has submitted documentation that he spent three hours addressing the frivolous pleading, including attending the hearing on April 18. Counsel further has represented to the Court that his normal hourly rate is $350.00/hour.

The Court finds both the time claimed and hourly rate are reasonable, resulting in attorney fees of $1,050.00.

The State of Idaho has represented to the Court that prosecutors collectively spent 2.75 hours addressing the pleading and have requested fees at the rate of $65/hour, for a total of $178.75.

Therefore, the Court sanctions Ratliff the sum of $1,228.75. Ratliff has 30 days to make the payments directly to the lawyers or he will be held in contempt of court.

Article Topic Follows: Vallow-Daybell Coverage

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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8.


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