Judge: Peter Wilson, Case: 2014-00725287, Date: 2022-08-04 Tentative Ruling

To assist the parties in focusing their arguments at today's hearing, the Court indicates its tentative summary ruling as follows


Defendants failed to challenge, or cite contrary authority to, the cases cited by Plaintiff for the proposition that if entitlement to fees and costs is stated in a Judgment, but not the amounts, that part of the Judgment is interlocutory and the Court retains the right to make a final determination as to both entitlement to and the amount of the costs.


As held by the California Supreme Court in DeSaulles, if a case is dismissed pursuant to a settlement, that does not automatically render the defendant the prevailing party as a matter of right. Instead the Court must determine whether a plaintiff who obtained a monetary settlement is the prevailing party.


Here, the Settlement terminated the litigation between the parties. The Settlement directly resulted in dismissal of the appeal filed by Plaintiff, effectively ending this action. While, as Defendants correctly point out, the dismissal of the appeal left the Judgment intact, as noted above the costs portion of that Judgment remains interlocutory.


Under the Settlement, the Plaintiff Jurisdictions are receiving substantial funds, for the exact purpose for which the litigation was filed. The Settlement directly relates to this action and is the express reason the appeal was dismissed. The monetary recovery the Plaintiff Jurisdictions are to receive under the Settlement renders Plaintiff the prevailing party and Defendant's memorandum of costs should accordingly be stricken.