CA Ct. Says HOA is Entitled to Recover Attorney Fees for Enforcement of Mediation Agreement

The defendants in this case were the owners of a condominium located within a common interest development that was governed by the homeowners association (“Association”). The Association commenced this action against the homeowners to seek compliance with the Association’s governing documents which prohibited improvements that had been made by the homeowners to their exterior patio in violation of the Association’s CC&Rs. Prior to filing a lawsuit, the owners and the Association participated in mediation in accordance with applicable California law and the Association’s governing documents. The mediation resulted in a written agreement between the parties that required the homeowners to make certain specified modifications to the area of their property that was the subject of the dispute. Because the homeowners did not initially perform in accordance with their responsibilities under the mediation agreement, the Association filed the lawsuit to compel compliance and recover the costs and attorney fees that had been incurred. During the pendency of the lawsuit, the homeowners made the required modifications to their property, but the issue of the attorney fees claimed by the Association was not resolved. Thereafter, the trial court granted a motion by the Association for an award of attorney fees and award the Association $18,991 of the total fees that had been incurred. The homeowners then appealed the award of the attorney fees.