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Rafanan v. Focus Receivables Management

July 23, 2010

CARLOS RAFANAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FOCUS RECEIVABLES MANAGEMENT, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. John A. Mendez U.S. District Court Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES

Date: July 7, 2010 Time: 9:30 a.m. Judge: Hon. John A. Mendez

I. INTRODUCTION

On April 16, 2010, Defendant, Focus Receivables Management, LLC (Defendant), served a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment on Plaintiff, Carlo Rafanan (Plaintiff), for $1,000 in statutory damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred through and including the 10th day of the making of this offer as determined by the Court, unless the parties agree to such amount otherwise. (Docket # 18, p. 3-4.) On April 20, 2010, Plaintiff accepted Defendant's Offer of Judgment. (Docket # 18.) On April 28, 2010, this Court entered Judgment in accordance with the terms of the Parties Offer of Judgment. (Docket # 21.) On April 28, 2010, Plaintiff filed this Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs. (Docket # 22.) Defendant opposed the motion. (Docket # 38.)

For the reasons more fully set forth below, the Court GRANTS in part, and DENIES in part, Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys Fees' and Costs in the amount of $2,405.00.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Evidentiary Rulings

Defendant moved to strike numerous exhibits to Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys Fees' and costs relative to the reasonableness of Plaintiff's Counsel's hourly rates. The Court is familiar with what attorneys in the jurisdiction charge and finds that Plaintiff's Counsel's rate of $290 an hour is reasonable. Thus, Defendant's evidentiary objections are OVERRULED.

B. Plaintiff's Miscalculations

Plaintiff initially sought $6,302.09 in attorneys fees and $426.61 in costs. Defendant's Opposition correctly argued that the time entries in Plaintiff's Statement of Services did not add up to the requested fee amount. In Plaintiff's Reply, he admits to this error and adjusted the amount of fees sought by $1,333.99, to $4,968.10. Thus, Plaintiff's motion only seeks $4,968.10 in fees and $426.61 in costs, for a total of $5,394.71.

C. Costs

Plaintiff bears the initial burden of proof in his motion. (Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392, 1397 (9th Cir. 1992)(citing Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433, 437 (1983).) Here, Plaintiff seeks $426.61 in costs; $350 of which is the Plaintiff's filing fee. Plaintiff has failed to document the remaining $76.61. Thus, Plaintiff may only recover the $350 filing fee.

D. Reasonableness of the ...


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