Civil Code Section 1363.09(b) Was One Basis For Award.
Lingle v. Quail Ridge Residential Assn., Case No. A129505 (1st Dist., Div. 4 May 17, 2012) (unpublished) is a case where an HOA prevailed against a homeowner challenging conduct resulting in the election of HOA’s board of directors. Unfortunately for homeowner, the lower court determined that attorney’s fees of $130,868.90 and costs of $9,052.60 should be awarded to HOA as prevailing party under Civil Code section 1354(c) (relating to CC&R enforcement) and Civil Code setion 1363.09(b) (which allows a prevailing party to obtain fees/costs should the court determine the board election challenge was frivolous in nature).
The appellate court affirmed on both grounds. With respect to the section 1363.09(b) rationale, the appellate court found basis for sustaining it based upon borrowing the frivolity standard from the seminal Title VII case of Christiansburg Garment Co. v. EEOC, 434 U.S. 418, 421 (1978).