Court Fees for Petition Which Benefits the General Public

In California Trout, Inc. v. Superior Court (1990), the appellate court had initially directed the superior court to issue writs commanding the state water board to attach conditions to licenses for the appropriation of water. (California Trout, supra, 218 Cal. App. 3d at p. 194.) On remand, the superior court allowed the water board to defer imposition of the conditions, and refused the petitioners' request for interim relief. (Ibid.) The petitioners then challenged this second ruling, arguing the superior court abused its discretion in failing to order the water board to attach the conditions. the appellate court agreed, and again directed that the water board immediately attach the conditions. (Ibid.) Based on the petitioners' success in the second phase of the litigation, the appellate court held they were entitled to the fees because petitioners conferred a "significant benefit on the general public" in ensuring the trial court complied with the appellate court orders. (Id. at p. 212.)