Plaintiff, in Walker v. City of Los Angeles, Case No. B236376 (2d Dist., Div. 4 Apr. 30, 2013) (unpublished), lost an invasion of privacy claim to Los Angeles on summary judgment. The summary judgment proceeding showed plaintiff based his claim on hearsay information found to not pan out when the defense proof was submitted. L.A. then moved for recovery of $46,281 in fees under CCP § 1038, which permits a defendant public entity to recover fees when prevailing in a suit with a tort act claim if the lower court determines the action was brought in bad faith (subjective standard) and without reasonable basis (objective standard).
Finding L.A.’s billings excessive, the trial court only awarded L.A. $15,000 in fees, prompting an appeal by losing plaintiff.
The fee order was affirmed because the record showed that plaintiff had no objective information to support his claim, relying on unreliable hearsay information discredited in the summary judgment proceeding.