Also, Costs Memorandum Was Untimely Filed, With Sender Giving Notice Of Judgment Entry Not Getting Benefit Of 5-Day Mail Service Extension.
In Hernandez v. Town of Apple Valley, Case No. E063721 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Jan. 5, 2017) (partially published; fee and costs discussion not published), plaintiff won on a Brown Act violation, which allows for a recovery of attorney's fees to a prevailing party. The lower court awarded most of the fee request based on a $550 hourly rate for the lead attorney, which it found high for the San Bernardino venue but justified by the complexity of the case (given that a multiplier was appropriate for a $440 hourly rate found to be more reasonable). The appellate court found this was no abuse of discretion under the deferential abuse of discretion standard.
However, a different result came to pass on the lower court's award of costs to the prevailing party under the costs memorandum. The costs memo was filed one day too late, with the prevailing party showing no excuse for the late filing. Instead, plaintiff argued it was timely because of the 5-day mail extension from the date of plaintiff mailing notice of entry of judgment. The 4/2 DCA decided that the 5-day rule did not apply to a sending plaintiff such that the costs award was based on an untimely filing and had to be reversed as a matter of law.