Key Decisions

August 2013 – Costs Of Suit Were Recoverable

(filed under: Key Decisions | August 16, 2013)

Costs Of Suit Were Recoverable

Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District
(Cal. Ct. of App., 4th Dist.), filed July 23, 2013, published July 23, 2013

Loring Williams sued the Chino Valley Independent Fire District for employment discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The Fire District moved for summary judgment and won. It then sought costs.

The trial court then granted Williams’s motions to tax costs in part and entered an order granting the Fire District costs of $5,368.88. Williams appealed from that order, contending that no costs should have been allowed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed. It rejected Williams’s argument that the Fire District, as the prevailing defendant, must show that his claim was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless in order to recover costs in an action for employment discrimination under FEHA. It ruled that to the extent a prevailing defendant sought attorney’s fees as costs, it had to show the claim was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless. However, to recover “regular” costs, it did not need to do so.