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Mario B. Quinones and Mario I. v. Bank Usa

April 13, 2012

MARIO B. QUINONES AND MARIO I.
QUINONES, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
BANK USA, N.A.,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. District Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION CHASE (Doc. No. 139.)

Before the Court is Defendant's motion for reconsideration of the Court's order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff Mario B.'s motion for attorney's fees and costs pursuant to Local Rule 7-18*fn1 ; Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) on the grounds of judicial error; and Rule 60 on the grounds of "mistake" or "any other reason that justifies relief." (Dkt. No. 139.) Plaintiff filed an opposition on March 2, 2012. (Dkt. No. 146.) A reply was filed on March 9, 2012. (Dkt. No. 147.) Based on a review of the papers and the applicable law, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion for reconsideration.

Background

On December 9, 2009, the case was removed to this Court from state court. (Dkt. No. 1.) In the first amended complaint, Plaintiffs Mario B. ("Mario Senior") and Mario I. ("Mario Junior") each alleged seven causes of action against Defendant for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("RFDCPA"), negligence, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), and violation of the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act ("CCRAA"). (Dkt. No. 14.) On June 28, 2010, the Court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss the first cause of action under the FDCPA. (Dkt. No. 27.)

On October 25, 2010, Defendant Chase filed a first amended counterclaim against Mario I. alleging breach of contract, and money had and received as to the two credit card accounts. (Dkt. No. 55.) On November 8, 2010, Mario I. filed an answer to the first amended counterclaim. (Dkt. No. 60.) On the same day, Mario Senior accepted a Rule 68 offer of judgment which was filed with the Court. (Dkt. No. 61.) On November 10, 2010, the Clerk of Court entered judgment "in favor of plaintiff Mario B. Quinones against defendant Chase Bank USA, N.A. in the amount of $1,001.00, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs." (Dkt. No. 62.)

As to attorney's fees, the Rule 68 offer of judgment states, " . . . plus reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred solely as to Mario Senior's claim for violation of the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1788, et seq.) through and including the day of the making of this offer as determined by the Court, on noticed motion." (Dkt. No. 61) (emphasis in original). Therefore, Plaintiff's attorney's fees and costs are limited Mario Senior's one cause of action under the RFDCPA.

On December 16, 2012, the Court granted in part and denied in part Plaintiff Mario B.'s motion for attorney's fees. (Dkt. No. 143.) Specifically, the Court granted Plaintiff $47,141.00 in attorney's fees. (Id.) The Court denied 25.8 hours totaling $7,611.00 from Plaintiff's request as not concerning Mario B.'s RFDCPA claim and denied Plaintiff request in the amount of 27.9 hours totaling $8,230.50 for fees incurred after October 27, 2010. (Id.) Lastly, the Court denied Plaintiff's request for an upward of adjustment of the lode star amount in the requested amount of $35,0443.35. (Id.) Defendant moves the Court to reconsider its order.*fn2

A. Motion for Reconsideration

A motion for reconsideration, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), is "appropriate if the district court is provided with (1) newly discovered evidence; (2) clear error or manifest injustice, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, Or. v. AcandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); see also Ybarra v. McDaniel, 656 F.3d 984, 998 (9th Cir. 2011). In addition, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i)(1) provides that a motion for reconsideration must include an affidavit or certified statement of a party or attorney "setting forth the material facts and circumstances surrounding each prior application, including inter alia: (1) when and to what judge the application was made, (2) what ruling or decision or order was made thereon, and (3) what new and different facts and circumstances are claimed to exist which did not exist, or were not shown upon such prior application." Local Civ. R. 7.1(i)(1). Under Rule 60(b), "the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake . . . or (6) any other reason that justified relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b).

The Court has discretion in granting or denying a motion for reconsideration. Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1441 (9th Cir. 1991). A motion for reconsideration should not be granted absent highly unusual circumstances. 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999). "A motion for reconsideration cannot be used to ask the Court to rethink what the Court has already thought through merely because a party disagrees with the Court's decision. Collins v. D.R. Horton, Inc., 252 F. Supp. 2d 936, 938 (D. Az. 2003) (citing United States v. Rezzonico, 32 F. Supp.2d 1112, 1116 (D. Az.1998)).

Defendant generally moves for reconsideration on three different theories; however, it does not state which standard applies to which issue.

B. Consideration of Chase's Original Declaration

Defendant argues that the Court's order erroneously excluded Chase's original declaration, that addressed each billing entry provided by Plaintiff's counsel, from consideration. In the order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees, the Court stated that "it will only address the specific arguments and objections that were addressed in its original opposition, (Dkt. No. 80) and supplemental declaration (Dkt. No. 115)." (Dkt. No. 134 at 5.)

In Plaintiff's original motion for attorney's fees and costs, Plaintiff's counsel included a declaration providing a vague description of the legal work performed by him. (Dkt. No. 67.) Based on the vague billing records, Defendant filed an opposition and declaration addressing each billing entry. (Dkt. No. 80.) Because it was difficult for the Court to ascertain which entries were attributable to the RFDCPA claim, on September 13, 2011, the Court issued an order directing Plaintiff's counsel to resubmit his billing records and to provide more specific information regarding the number of hours spent and to state what portion of the total amount spent was devoted specifically to Mario Senior and his RFDCPA claim. (Dkt. No. 103.) On October 3, 2011 Plaintiff's counsel filed a supplemental declaration providing more details as to each entry on the billing record. (Dkt. No. 108.) Defendant requested leave to respond to ...


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