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Schultz v. Ichimoto

November 8, 2010

RODNEY SCHULTZ AND PATRICIA SCHULTZ, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SAKAYE ICHIMOTO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: DEFENDANT MARGARET JAMISON'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES

(Doc. 189)

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court for decision is Defendant Margaret Jamison's motion for attorney fees. (Doc. 189.) Plaintiffs Rodney and Patricia Schultz oppose the motion on grounds that it was untimely under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 54(d)(2).

II. BACKGROUND

The background of this case is summarized in the Court's previous Memorandum Decision in this case, filed on September 7, 2010, in brief:*fn1 On April 16, 2008, Plaintiffs commenced this action against Defendants Margaret Jamison, Sakaye Ichimoto, and William and Cinda Jamison to recover costs/damages resulting from environmental contamination of real property located in Oakhurst, California.*fn2 (Doc. 1.) On April 1, 2009, Defendant M.B.L., Inc., moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' second cause of action on grounds that Plaintiffs lacked standing.*fn3 (Doc. 117.) Defendant Margaret Jamison joined the motion on September 13, 2009.*fn4 (Doc. 130.) The second cause of action was dismissed with prejudice on September 16, 2009. (Doc. 138.)

On January 25, 2010, Defendants George and Frances Wolfe filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings or for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' first claim for cost recovery under CERCLA § 107, second claim for declaratory relief under CERCLA § 113, and fourth claim for relief under California Health and Safety Code § 25363(e).*fn5 (Doc. 142.) Defendant Margaret Jamison joined the motion on February 25, 2010. (Doc. 156.) On March 18, 2010, the motion was granted. (Doc. 166.) Plaintiffs' claims under CERCLA §§ 107, § 113, and California Health and Safety Code § 25363(e) were dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Id.) The state law claims were dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).

(Id.)

Final judgment was entered on April 16, 2010. (Doc. 182.) On April 30, 2010, Defendants Sakaye Ichimoto and William and Cinda Jamison separately moved for attorney fees.*fn6 (Docs. 183 and 187.) Defendant Margaret Jamison filed her motion for fees on May 14, 2010. (Doc. 189.) She requests $22,200.25 in fees based on her "prevailing party" status. (Id.)

III. DISCUSSION

A. Supplemental Briefing

In their opposition to this motion, filed on June 28, 2010, Plaintiffs argued that because Ms. Jamison filed her motion more than 14 days after the entry of final judgment, her motion was untimely. Defendant Margaret Jamison did not respond to Plaintiffs' timeliness arguments via written reply. At oral argument, however, Ms. Jamison's counsel argued that her client was "the prevailing party under CERCLA based on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)." Counsel further stated:

California

The motion

Code for of attorney's

Civil Procedure fees Section is brought under

should that's based on the 1033.5. And brought contract.

Margaret Jamison's motion is timely. be under California

And time law, ...


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