No Exceptions Applied, Including DeSaulles Exception.
Although occurring in a somewhat convoluted procedural context, Brewer v. Balda Investments USA, Case No. G054349 (4th Dist., Div. 3 Jan. 30, 2018) (unpublished) reminds us that routine costs awards are governed by structural statutes which may be automatic when dismissals are involved, with the exceptions being few and far between.
Plaintiff won an arbitration proceeding, being awarded damages, arbitration fees, and arbitration costs, an arbitration award confirmed in the superior court. However, plaintiff had sued multiple parties, which brought demurrers or a motion to quash, with plaintiff dismissing the judicial action in entirety without prejudice after winning the arbitration. The defendants then sought to recover routine costs of $51,343.66, a request granted by the trial judge and affirmed on appeal.
Plaintiff failed to appreciate that routine costs are mandatory upon a dismissal unless some exception applies. He argued that the exception in DeSaulles v. Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, 62 Cal.4th 1140 (2016) [our Leading Case No. 19] applied, but it did not because there was no monetary settlement agreement triggering the dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint.
Acting Presiding Justice Fybel authored the 3-0 panel on behalf of the 4/3 DCA panel.