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Posted by on May 8, 2021

Plaintiff charter school appealed a judgment from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which awarded the charter school damages for defendant school district’s breach of a contract to provide shared use of facilities and denied the charter school’s request for an award of attorney fees under Code Civ. Proc., § 1021.5.

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The district offered the charter school the shared use of facilities at a district school. After the charter school accepted the offer, the district purported to withdraw it. The court held that the proper measure of damages under Civ. Code, § 3300, was the value of the district facilities less the maintenance and operations (M&O) expenses that the charter school would have had to pay under Ed. Code, § 47614, subd. (b)(1), and Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5, § 11969.4. The valuation method set forth in Evid. Code, § 824, was inapplicable because the district property was not a nonprofit special use property as defined in Code Civ. Proc., § 1235.155, and there was evidence of a relevant comparable market; moreover, excluding depreciation would be contrary to the reasonable equivalence requirement in § 47614, subd. (b). A claim for damages for the intangible value of an integrated campus was speculative under Civ. Code, § 3301. The evidence supported the district’s calculation of M&O costs. The charter school was not entitled to a fee award because it did not enforce charter school students’ rights to district facilities in general and did not incur disproportionate expenses.


The court affirmed the judgment, as modified with respect to the amount of damages, and affirmed the order denying attorney fees.

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