NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS
KRIEGLER, Acting P.J.
Defendant and appellant Hourieh N. Fard appeals from an order after judgment awarding attorney fees to plaintiff and respondent Mitra Eftekhari.
Civil harassment claims
In the context of an ongoing dispute in the fall of 2015, Fard and Eftekhari filed competing requests for civil harassment restraining orders under Code of Civil Procedure, section 527.6.
On February 2, 2016, the court issued an order denying a restraining order to Fard and granting Eftekhari's request for a civil harassment restraining order.
Attorney fee award
As part of its February 2, 2016 ruling, the trial court set a briefing schedule for Eftekhari and one other party (Marjan Vafa) to file a motion for attorney fees. Counsel for Eftekhari and Vafa sought $8,125 in attorney fees. Fard's opposition argued, among other things, that fees could not be awarded if they were not part of the complaint or original petition, and that the fees requested were not reasonable.
On April 8, 2016, the trial court granted Eftekhari's attorney fees request, noting that the amount was reasonable under the circumstances and finding the arguments presented in Fard's opposition meritless.
The instant appeal
On April 8, 2016, Fard filed a notice of appeal from the trial court's February 11, 2016 order. On April 19, 2016, Fard filed an amended notice of appeal appealing the court's April 8, 2016 postjudgment award of attorney fees. After a number of default notices, at least one order dismissing the April 8, 2016 appeal, an order granting relief, and a later order to show cause, this court discharged the order to show cause why fees had not been paid and stated, "There is a single appeal albeit two notice[s] of appeal were filed." (Fard v. Eftekhari (Jan. 9, 2017, B271555) [nonpub. order].)
Respondent's brief asserts that jurisdiction is lacking based on the absence of a civil case information statement for the April 19, 2016 notice of appeal.
The general rule is that "`[a]n appellate court has no jurisdiction to review an award of attorney fees made after entry of the judgment, unless the order is separately appealed.' [Citation.]" (Colony Hill v. Ghamaty (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1156, 1171.) "A postjudgment order which awards or denies costs or attorney's fees is separately appealable. [Citations.] . . . [I]f no appeal is taken from such an order, the appellate court has no jurisdiction to review it. [Citation.]" (Norman I. Krug Real Estate Investments, Inc. v. Praszker (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 35, 46.)
Because Fard filed two separate notices of appeal, and this court's January 9, 2017 order establishes there is a single appeal with two notices of appeal, we conclude that the April 19, 2016 notice of appeal supports this court's jurisdiction to review the court's April 8, 2016 postjudgment order.
Standard of review
"On review of an award of attorney fees after trial, the normal standard of review is abuse of discretion. However, de novo review of such a trial court order is warranted where the determination of whether the criteria for an award of attorney fees and costs in this context have been satisfied amounts to statutory construction and a question of law." (Carver v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 132, 142.)
Attorney fee award
Fard contends that because none of the parties' petitions for civil harassment restraining orders contained a request for attorney fees, the court lacked authority to award attorney fees to Eftekhari. All of the case law Fard cites arises in the context of a default judgment. (See, e.g., Becker v. S.P.V. Construction Co. (1980) 27 Cal.3d 489, 494-495 [default judgment, including an award of attorney fees, was in excess of court's jurisdiction to the extent amount judgment exceeded damages prayed for in complaint]; Wiley v. Rhodes (1990) 223 Cal.App.3d 1470, 1473-1475 [reversing default judgment's award of punitive damages and attorney fees where neither were identified in complaint].) Section 580, subdivision (a), limits a trial court's jurisdiction to grant relief on a default judgment to the amount stated in the complaint. (Greenup v. Rodman (1986) 42 Cal.3d 822, 826-827; Rodriguez v. Cho (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 742, 752.)
Fard offers no authority, and we are aware of none, applying the limitation of section 580 in the context of a contested case where the prevailing party has successfully filed a motion for attorney fees. (See Singleton v. Perry (1955) 45 Cal.2d 489, 498-499 [plaintiff in a contested case may secure relief greater than that demanded in the complaint]; 4 Witkin, Cal. Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Pleading, § 495, p. 633 [a missing prayer may be cured by amendment and recovery is permissible without a specific prayer].) Section 527.6, subdivision (s), gives the court authority to award court costs and attorney fees to the prevailing party in a civil harassment proceeding. Because Eftekhari prevailed on her request for a restraining order under section 527.6, the trial court had authority to award attorney fees.
Fard also makes a number of policy arguments about why the lower court should not have awarded fees in such a large amount for a civil harassment proceeding. She argues such fee awards would deter future parties from using the courts, and this deterrent effect would apply disproportionately to poor litigants. Parties might instead turn to self-help remedies. She also argues large fee awards foster additional litigation between the parties, pointing out that the current parties have been involved in multiple additional lawsuits. Finally, she argues that scholarly articles point out that large fee awards can give the impression that the law is not impartial, because the losing party is forced to bear the burden of an attorney fee award. Whatever merit these arguments may have in certain situations, none persuade us that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees to Eftekhari after a six-day civil harassment trial.
The order awarding attorney fees is affirmed. Costs on appeal are awarded to respondent Mitra Eftekhari.
BAKER, J. and KUMAR, J.