Wolff v. Kemp - fees to prevailing defendant

CCP Section 527.6(i) “Prevailing Party” Language Is Broad, Rules the First District.

     Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6(i) authorizes a discretionary award of attorney’s fees and court costs to the prevailing party in an action to obtain a TRO or preliminary injunction prohibiting harassment. The First District, Division 5 rebuffed a losing litigant’s argument that it was more limited in scope.

     In Wolff v. KempCase No. A121169 (1st Dist., Div. 5 Mar. 4, 2009) (unpublished), plaintiff lost a request for an anti-harassment order under CCP section 527.6 and defendant was awarded $2,000 in fees under section 527.6(i). On appeal, plaintiff argued that an award under this provision was limited to instances in which a TRO issued without sufficient facts. Wrong, said the appellate panel. “Section 527.6, subdivision (i), however, contains no such limitation. Section 527.6 applies to actions seeking orders prohibiting harassment, whether it be a temporary restraining order or an injunction. Furthermore, the fact that the Judicial Council’s form answer referenced the issuance of a TRO is immaterial. The form language does not limit the statutory authority provided by section 527.6, subdivision (i).” The fee award was affirmed.

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