SOUTH BEVERLY PARK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. v. NORTH BEVERLY PARK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.
SOUTH BEVERLY PARK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
NORTH BEVERLY PARK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., Defendant and Appellant.
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Three.
Filed August 1, 2011.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS
KLEIN, P. J.
Defendant and appellant North Beverly Park Homeowners Association (the North) appeals a postjudgment order awarding attorney fees of $733,536.44 and costs of $93,389.69 to plaintiffs and respondents South Beverly Park Homeowners Association, Inc. (the South) and the individual South homeowners, David Sydorick, Virginia Sydorick, Allison Berg, Laurence Berg, Bob M. Cohen, Michele Cohen, Mo Gharavi, Jennifer Gharavi, Richard Zanuck, Lilly Zanuck, Irving Zuckerman, Peyman Daneshrad, Shadi Daneshrad, Louise Taper, Michael Solomon, Luciana Solomon, Daniel Blatteis, Angela Blatteis, Earvin Johnson, Cookie Johnson, Samuel Jackson and LaTanya Jackson (collectively, the South) following a court trial involving the interpretation of a written grant of an easement.
The threshold issue presented is whether the trial court lost jurisdiction to grant attorney fees to the South. Thereafter, in the event the trial court retained jurisdiction to make an award of attorney fees, the issues are whether the trial court properly found the South was the prevailing party, and whether the North's CC&Rs authorize the award of attorney fees to the South for having prevailed in this litigation involving the North's CC&Rs.
We conclude the trial court acted within its jurisdiction to make the subject order. After initially declining to rule on the attorney fees motion and taking it off calendar, the trial court duly granted reconsideration on its own motion and then awarded attorney fees to the South.
Further, the trial court acted within its discretion in finding the South was the prevailing party. The record fully supports the trial court's determination the South had achieved its litigation objective of access to the easement.
Finally, the trial court properly found the South was the intended third party beneficiary of the North's CC&Rs, specifically, section 24.08 thereof, which gives the South's members, guests and invitees an easement across the North. Because the South prevailed in litigation to enforce the CC&Rs, the South was entitled to recover attorney fees pursuant to the attorney fee provision found at section 17.02 of the North's CC&Rs.