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Calderon v. United States

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 5, 2008

ROCIO CALDERON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Nita L. Stormes U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES [Doc. No. 22]

Before this Court is Defendant United States of America's request for attorneys fees and costs associated with bringing a motion to compel Plaintiff Rocio Calderon to respond to interrogatories and requests for production of documents [Doc. No. 22]. Plaintiff has not filed an opposition to the request. For the reasons explained below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's request and awards attorney's fees in the amount of $516.84, to be paid by Plaintiff.

DISCUSSION

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(5)(A), if a motion to compel is granted, the Court may require the party whose conduct necessitated the motion, the party or attorney advising that conduct, or both to pay the movant's reasonable expenses incurred in bringing the motion, including attorney's fees. FED.R.CIV.P.37(a)(5)(A). Several exceptions shall preclude an award: (1) the movant filed the motion before attempting in good faith to obtain the discovery without court action; (2) the opposing party's nondisclosure, response, or objections were substantially justified; or (3) other circumstances make the award unjust. FED.R.CIV.P. 37(a)(5)(A)(i)-(iii).

On April 15, 2008, this Court granted Defendant's motion to compel in its entirety, and in addition to ordering Plaintiff to comply with her discovery obligations, also ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing the merits of Defendant's request for an award of attorney's fees incurred as a result of having to bring the motion to compel. (See 4/15/08 Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Compel, 3-4.) In compliance with the Court's order, Defendant filed a memorandum and affidavit of counsel regarding attorney's fees [Doc. No. 22]. Plaintiff failed to file a responsive memorandum.

Defendant requests an award of attorney's fees in the amount of $516.84. (See Defendant's Memorandum in Support of Request, 2.) Defendant has supported this calculation by providing the Court with information regarding the total hours spent by defense counsel bringing the motion to compel, as well as the hourly rates of counsel as set forth by the June 29, 2007 Department of Justice Guidelines Memorandum. (See Declaration of David B. Wallace in Support ¶¶ 4-5.) The Court finds this amount reasonable. Plaintiff has not filed an opposing memorandum. Therefore, the Court has not been presented with any arguments under the applicable sections of Rule 37(a)(5)(A) which would support a determination by the Court that an award is not justified in this case.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, Defendant's request for attorney's fees is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall pay attorney's fees in the amount of $516.84, to be delivered directly to Defendant care of defense counsel David B. Wallace, Office of the United States Attorney, 880 Front Street, Room 6293, San Diego, California, 92101-8893, no later than May 19, 2008.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20080505

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