Yang v. 2176 Pacific Homeowners Associations, 2014 WL 3037299 (2014).
In 2010, Yang filed a suit in state court against his Association for claims
arising from the towing of his van and alleged "falsely reported"
debt against him. However, Yang failed to notify the consumer reporting
agency about the dispute regarding the alleged falsely reported debt as
was required under the relevant provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act ("FRCA"). As a result, the district court dismissed the
action arising from the towing of the van and awarded attorneys' fees
to the Association as the prevailing party. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the judgment of the district court but disagreed as to the award of attorney's
fees. The fee provision in the Association's CC&Rs and the relevant
statute provide for attorneys' fees for the prevailing party in an
to enforce any provision of the governing document. However, the court found that
Yang's action was not properly construed as an action seeking to enforce
the CC&Rs but rather as one seeking redress for alleged civil rights
violations, so the Association was not entitled to attorneys' fees. Although the case is unpublished, its precedential value is considerable
since it demonstrates how courts construe relevant statutes and provisions
of the CC&Rs when deciding who gets the award of attorneys' fees.
In order to be entitled to attorney's fees, the action
must be properly construed as an
action seeking to enforce the rights and obligations of the parties under