Plaintiffs’ Dismissal Cemented Costs Entitlement.
Although coming about in convoluted fashion, defendant was awarded certain costs in an adjacent neighbor tree dispute where plaintiffs won a temporary restraining order but defendant voluntarily made some construction changes so that a preliminary injunction was ultimately denied. Plaintiffs then dismissed their action without prejudice. The trial court awarded certain costs to defendant, sparking plaintiffs’ appeal in Tavangarian v. Florman, Case No. B227269 (2d Dist., Div. 3 Jan. 25, 2012) (unpublished).
The costs award was affirmed.
Although arguing that defendant was not the prevailing party, plaintiff’s argument was rejected because the dismissal established the defense’s status as the winner in spite of the earlier TRO win. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1032(a)(4); Adler v. Vaicius, 21 Cal.App.4th 1770, 1777 (1993).) Plaintiffs did not prevail by just winning the TRO, because this win was interlocutory in nature--trumped by the later preliminary injunction denial and subsequent dismissal. Defendant was expressly entitled to copying costs for exhibits, even though copying costs for other documents is not allowable. (El Dorado Meat Co. v. Yosemite Meat & Locker Service, Inc., 150 Cal.App.4th 612, 618 (2007).)