A homeowners’ association may recover costs, but not attorney fees, from a homeowner who brings a frivolous suit to inspect the association’s records. Under Civ. Code 5235(a), a member of a homeowners association may sue the association to compel it to allow inspection and copying of association records. Subdivision (c) of the section provides: “A prevailing association may recover any costs if the court finds the action to be frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.” This decision holds that costs means costs, not attorney fees, so the trial court erred in awarding the association its attorney fees, even though it correctly found plaintiff’s suit was frivolous, justifying a cost award under section 5235(c).
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Moore, J.); August 23, 2017; 2017 WL 3614197