Trial Court's Discretion to Award Costs to Prevailing Defendant in FEHA Action Is Subject to Christiansburg Standard -Friday, May 29, 2015
The California Supreme Court held that a prevailing defendant in an action under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Govt C §§12900–12996) is entitled to an award of costs only in the discretion of the trial court under Govt C §12965(b) and not as a matter of right under CCP §1032(b). Williams v Chino Valley Indep. Fire Dist. (2015) 61 C4th 97, 105. The court found that §12965(b) is an express exception to §1032(b) and thus governs costs awards in FEHA cases, noting that this determination is consistent with federal courts' interpretation of similar language in the Americans With Disabilities Act (see 42 USC §12205). 61 C4th at 108.