Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Boonyarit v. Payless Shoesource (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 19, 2006)

It's pretty rare that you see an appeal that exclusively concerns the entitlement to a whopping $585.75 in costs. If only because the attorneys' fees (and costs!) you spend in filing and perfecting an appeal are way, way more than the underlying cost award.

But this case nonetheless entails precisely such an appeal.

In the end, plaintiff prevails -- for hypertechnical reasons -- and succeeds in getting the cost award vacated. At least for now; as I read it, it's quite possible that defendant could cure the deficiency and obtain costs by filing a new request in the trial court. On the upside, plaintiff obtains her costs on appeal. So let's hope that the case now goes away. As we used to say, I can't believe that it's worth all the fussin' and fightin'.

On the merits, the opinion is actually somewhat important, and relates to when (and how) the defendant can file its request for costs when the plaintiff files an amended complaint that omits the defendant as a party. It's not as easy as one might think, and, as here, it's easy to mess it up.

Read the opinion for more. It's only seven (double-spaced) pages, and it's an easy read.