Mundy v. Neal confirms that pre-filing settlement attempt necessary for catalyst theory fees sought via Civil Code section 55

The plaintiff sued to force a land owner to install a van-accessible handicap parking space.  The landowner installed the space.  Plaintiff filed a dismissal with prejudice.  Plaintiff then sought his attorney fees under a catalyst theory because his lawsuit motivated corrective action that inures to the public benefit.  The trial court denied the motion for fees. The Court of Appeal, in Mundy v. Neal (June 30, 2010) (Second Appellate District, Division Two) affirmed, holding that the plaintiff did not attempt to settle prior to filing suit and was not the prevailing party under Graham v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 34 Cal. 4th 553, 577 (2004).  Simple as that.