Need to get attorney fees after winning your case? The deadline to file your motion is the same as the deadline to appeal, and here’s an example of the strange mysteries of the “triggering document” rules that trigger the 60-day deadline.
After a trust beneficiary won her first appeal, on remand in Karamooz v. Karamooz (D4d3 Nov. 14, 2022) no. G060515, 2022 WL 16918764 (nonpub. opn.) the probate court held a further hearing.
Then the court issued a couple of rulings that are the pieces of the puzzle of the 60-day deadline:
First, in June, the court issued a tentative decision.
Then in July, the court issued a modified statement of decision and order. The clerk served a filed-stamped copy of the modification.
Finally, in August, the respondent served a notice of entry of the tentative—but not the modification.
The appellant filed her fee motion in October—within 60 days after service of the notice of entry of the tentative, but more than 60 days after service of the file-stamped copy of the tentative.
So was the fee motion timely?
Held: The fee motion was timely. Whether the 60-day period started running from service the notice of entry of the tentative or the file-stamped copy of the modification is a trick question: neither one was complete in itself, and so neither was effective to trigger the 60-day deadline.