Attorneys’ Fees Are Available in Arizona Eviction Actions

Person holding cash

Prior to this decision, case law held that fees were only awardable in actions arising out of the termination of a residential lease.

December 19, 2018
Ben Reeves - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently held that any successful plaintiff in a forcible detainer action (i.e., an eviction action) may recover an award of its attorneys’ fees and costs incurred at trial under A.R.S. § 12-1178(A). See Bank of New York v. Dodev, 1 CA-CV 17-0652 (Ct. App. Nov. 20, 2018). Prior to this decision, caselaw held that fees were only awardable in actions arising out of the termination of a residential lease. RREEF Mgmt. Co. v. Camex Prods., Inc., 190 Ariz. 75, 945 P.2d 386 (Ct. App. 1997). Changes to the statute, however, rendered the prior caselaw obsolete. Although the holding in Dodev is important, the facts of the case are truly astonishing…and somewhat depressing.

The Facts

In Dodev, Ivaylo Dodev (Dodev) defaulted on his home loan in 2008. He nevertheless “succeeded in remaining on the [p]roperty by filing numerous legal actions that delayed the foreclosure and subsequent trustee’s sale” at least through the date of the opinion—a ten (10) year period.

Mr. Reeves may be contacted at breeves@swlaw.com



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