(a) In any civil proceeding under the Government Claims Act (Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) of Title 1 of the Government Code) or for express or implied indemnity or for contribution in any civil action, the court, upon motion of the defendant or cross-defendant, shall, at the time of the granting of any summary judgment, motion for directed verdict, motion for judgment under Section 631.8, or any nonsuit dismissing the moving party other than the plaintiff, petitioner, cross-complainant, or intervenor, or at a later time set forth by rule of the Judicial Council adopted under Section 1034, determine whether or not the plaintiff, petitioner, cross-complainant, or intervenor brought the proceeding with reasonable cause and in the good faith belief that there was a justifiable controversy under the facts and law which warranted the filing of the complaint, petition, cross-complaint, or complaint or answer in intervention. If the court should determine that the proceeding was not brought in good faith and with reasonable cause, an additional issue shall be decided as to the defense costs reasonably and necessarily incurred by the party or parties opposing the proceeding, and the court shall render judgment in favor of that party in the amount of all reasonable and necessary defense costs, in addition to those costs normally awarded to the prevailing party. An award of defense costs under this section shall not be made except on notice contained in a party’s papers and an opportunity to be heard.
(b) “Defense costs,” as used in this section, shall include reasonable attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, the expense of services of experts, advisers, and consultants in defense of the proceeding, and where reasonably and necessarily incurred in defending the proceeding.
(c) This section shall be applicable only on motion made before the discharge of the jury or entry of judgment, and any party requesting the relief pursuant to this section waives any right to seek damages for malicious prosecution. Failure to make the motion shall not be deemed a waiver of the right to pursue a malicious prosecution action.
(d) This section shall only apply if the defendant or cross-defendant has made a motion for summary judgment, judgment under Section 631.8, directed verdict, or nonsuit and the motion is granted.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 131, Sec. 3. (AB 1693) Effective January 1, 2018.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018