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Monday, September 2, 2013

Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District: Prevailing Defendant May Recover Ordinary Costs In FEHA Action Without Showing That Action Was Frivolous, Unreasonable, or Groundless

In Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District (7/23/13) --- Cal.App.4th ---, plaintiff Loring Williams sued defendant Chino Valley Independent Fire District for employment discrimination in violation of FEHA and lost. The trial court awarded certain costs of suit to the defendant, and Williams appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that a defendant need not show that the claim was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless in order to recover its "ordinary costs" under CCP 1032. Slip op. at 11-18. 

The Court rejected the plaintiff's argument that the standard for an award of defense attorney fees in a FEHA action also should apply to an award of ordinary costs. The Court also rejected the argument that federal precedent in Title VII and ADA cases should control.

The opinion is available here

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