Sunday, April 12, 2015

Deny This!

City of Glendale v. Marcus Cable Assocs., No B249094 (D2d5 Mar. 18, 2015)

In a dispute with a cable provider, the City of Glendale denied an RFA on an issue that it ultimately lost at trial. After finding that Glendale lacked a reasonable basis for the denial, the trial court awarded the cable company the costs and fees associated with proving that fact under Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.420.

The court here holds at a federal telecommunications law that limits the available relief in such cases to injunctive and declaratory relief precluded recovery of a monetary award under § 2033.420. The crux of the court’s analysis is that a § 2033.420 award isn’t really a discovery sanction, but is instead similar to a statutory award of costs and attorneys’ fees. Because federal cases had held that the federal statute barred recovery of these kinds of items, the court of appeal bars a § 2033.420 recovery in this case.

Reversed.

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