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.
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.