A second appeal in this interpleader action results in an affirmance of the trial court’s division of the interpleaded funds. The opinion holds that (1) by not designating a reporter’s transcript or providing a settled statement of oral proceedings, appellant waived any errors reviewed under the substantial evidence or abuse of discretion standards, (2) a general denial to the interpleader complaint was insufficient to raise any issue for trial as to defendant’s claimed interest in the interpleaded funds (a factually pleaded cross-complaint was required instead), (3) the trial court properly awarded the interpleading plaintiff attorney fees on the first appeal in this case, even though the appeal came after the plaintiff received its discharge order. CCP 386.6(a) allows, but does not require, that a fee award be made at the time of the discharge order, and here, the first appeal challenged the discharge order, so plaintiff was entitled to fees on its successful defense of that order. (4) A judgment for money held by a court in an interpleader action is one for delivery of personal property and, under CCP 917.2 is not stayed unless a bond is posted. The statute was amended in 1972 to eliminate a previous exception to the bond requirement where funds were held by the court. (5) While the court deciding a plaintiff’s underlying action against a defendant lacks jurisdiction to determine the existence and amount of the plaintiff’s attorney’s lien on the plaintiff’s recovery, an interpleader action filed by the defendant seeking a determination as to who (as between plaintiff and lawyer) has a right to the judgment amount is a sufficiently separate proceeding so that the court in the interpleader action may settle the rights as between plaintiff and his attorney to the interpleaded funds.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5 (Kriegler, Acting P.J.); November 14, 2016; 2016 WL 6678424