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Decisions in Administrative, Criminal, & Family Matters, Plus Attorney's Fees

By FindLaw Staff on April 29, 2010 12:22 PM

In People v. Williams, No. E048899, the Fourth District faced a challenge to a trial court's denial of restitution for IRS penalties assessed against a company, arising from the embezzlement of more than $50,000 from the company by a former employee, resulting in attorney fees, fees for an internal audit by a CPA firm, as well as penalties and interest assessed by the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes.  In reversing the trial court's denial, the court held that it was an error for the trial court in refusing to order restitution for the IRS penalties as it deprived the company of its constitutional right to receive restitution directly from defendant for lossess it suffered. 

 Batt v. City and County of San Francisco, No. A123253, involved a plaintiff's claim against the City and County of San Francisco claiming that it improperly required hoteliers to apply the city's hotel tax to parking charges, challenging the validity of the administrative regulation that required collection on the grounds that it was not  a proper tax on the "occupancy" of a hotel room.  In affirming the trial court's decision upholding as valid the application of the city's hotel tax parking charges, the court held that S.F. Bus. & Tax Regs. Code section 6.16-1 is a valid delegation to the Tax Collector and the authority of the Tax Collector was not exceeded with the prolulgation of the Hotel Law Guidelines.

Tate v. Wilburn, No. D054609, involved a petitioner's renewed motion to set aside a 1991 child support order, arguing that recent genetic testing showed that he is not the child's father and that the test results constituted new evidence pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1008(b).  However, the father's appeal to the trial court's denial is dismissed as an order denying a renewed motion under section 1008(b) is not appealable. 

Serrano v. Stefan Merli Plastering Co., Inc., No. B215837, concerned plaintiffs' suit seeking attorneys' fees under the private attorney general statute, Code of Civ. Proc. section 1021.5 from a deposition reporter company, arising from a dispute about the reasonableness of fees a deposition reporter sought to charge a nonnoticing party for expedited copies.  In affirming the denial of attorney fees, the court held that the trial court's determination that Serrano I was private litigation and did not result in the enforcement of an important public right is entitled to deference, and it further held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiffs private attorney general fees because they failed to show the first element of the section 1021.5 test. 

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