Chavez Case Discretion Is Not Limited To FEHA Matters.
In Papavasiliou v. Equilon Enterprises LLC, Case No. G053611 (4th Dist., Div. 3 Nov. 16, 2017) (unpublished), plaintiff in an unlimited civil case (alleging damages of $25,000 or more) did prevail on a month-to-month rental dispute to the tune of $2,223.33. However, the trial judge denied plaintiff’s request for an award of routine costs.
This denial was affirmed on appeal, in a 3-0 opinion authored by Justice Moore. Code of Civil Procedure section 1033(a) provides a trial court with discretion to deny routine costs to a prevailing party in an unlimited civil case where the prevailing party could have recovered a judgment in a limited case ($25,000 or less in amount). Chavez v. City of Los Angeles, 47 Cal.4th 970 (2010) so reinforced in a FEHA context. Losing party suggested Chavez was limited to a FEHA context, but the decision itself refuted this distinction. (47 Cal.4th at 987-988.) So, no error in denying a costs award for a case which was brought as unlimited but only resulted in a limited case amount adjudication.