In dispute between HOA and homeowner over improvements to homeowner’s patio, HOA prevailed and was therefore entitled to mandatory fee award under Civ. Code 5975(c), but only for portion of attorney’s fees incurred after the homeowner failed to complete agreed changes within the 60 days allowed under the parties’ settlement agreement. After homeowners made improvements to their exterior patio that the homeowners’ association deemed in violation of the CC&Rs, the parties entered into a CC&R-required ADR process resulting in an agreement for specific modifications to the patio to bring it into compliance with the CC&Rs. When those repairs weren’t made within 60 days, the association sued. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the suit, though technically to enforce the ADR agreement, was in essence a suit to enforce the association’s governing documents, thus entitling the prevailing party to a mandatory fee award under Civ. Code 5975(c). The trial court also did not abuse its discretion in finding the association to be the prevailing party as it got in substance the modifications the homeowners had promised but not done. And the trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting the association’s fee award which was substantially less than the association had requested and compensated for work only after the agreed 60-day period for completion of the ADR-agreed work had expired.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 2 (Hollenhorst, J.); August 9, 2016; 2016 WL 4199091