Mandate of CCP § 685.080 Is Clear.
In Conservatorship of McQueen, Case No. A134337 (1st Dist., Div. 4 Feb. 2, 2013) (unpublished), a conservator for an elder recovered a financial elder abuse judgment against an attorney, who subsequently paid the judgment in full, including interest. Conservator then moved for $57,681.90 in attorney’s fees and costs incurred for defending the judgment on appeal and bringing a fraudulent transfer lawsuit. The trial court granted the motion in substantial part over appellant attorney’s objection. awarding $56,974.50 in fees incurred on appeal and in connection with related collection efforts.
Fee award reversed.
The basis was simple: Code of Civil Procedure section 685.080 requires that such motions be brought before the judgment is satisfied in full, something not done here and a specific statutory section that trumped other generalized deadlines. Also, this segued in with the policy to encourage a judgment debtor to satisfy the judgment with solace, something that would not result if the debtor--thinking peace was bought-- happened to be confronted with further roundelays of postjudgment fee/costs motions. (Carnes v. Zamani, 488 F.3d 1057, 1061 (9th Cir. 2007); Lucky United Properties Investment, Inc. v. Lee, 185 Cal.App.4th 125, 144 (2010).)