United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION FOR
ATTORNEYS' FEES [RE: ECF 113]
LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
Marites Montemayor Garcia (“Plaintiff”) brings
this action against Defendants Creditor Specialty Service,
Inc. (“CSS”) and Charles Stanley, Jr.
“Defendants”) for alleged violations of the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692
et seq. (“FDCPA”), and the Rosenthal
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Cal. Civ. Code
§§ 1788 et seq. (“RFDCPA”).
Having prevailed on summary judgment against Defendant
Charles Stanley, Jr., Plaintiff moves for attorneys' fees
and costs. ECF 113.
considered the submissions, the relevant law, and the record
in this case, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART
Plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees and costs as
lawsuit arises out of Defendants' attempt to collect
consumer debts from Plaintiff. Plaintiff incurred a debt on a
consumer credit account issued by Provident Credit Union.
Garcia Decl. ¶ 3, ECF 93-4. After experiencing financial
hardship, Plaintiff defaulted on the debt. Id.
Thereafter, the debt was transferred to CSS for collection,
where Stanley was an executive officer. Garcia Decl. ¶
3; Stanley Dep. Tr. 28:6-25, ECF 93-6.
1, 2013, CSS mailed a collection letter in an envelope with a
glassine window, which exposed portions of the envelope's
contents. Garcia Decl. ¶¶ 5-6; Stip. Facts 2, ECF
93-3. Visible on the face of the envelope was CSS's name,
its return address, a “large red dollar sign logo,
” Plaintiff's name, address, and the words
“SPECIAL SETTLEMENT OFFER” in bold 14 point type
were seen through the glassine window. Garcia Decl. ¶ 5,
Ex. 1. After receiving this letter, Plaintiff filed suit on
April 18, 2014, against CSS for allegedly violating the 15
U.S.C. sections 1692c(b), 1692f(7), and 1692f(8)
(“FDCPA”) and Cal. Civil Code sections
1788.12(b), 1788.12(d), and 1788.17 (“RFDCPA”).
Compl., ECF 1.
Court recounts briefly the procedural history of the case to
illustrate the amount of litigation work that was done. After
the complaint was filed, Defendant CSS did not timely
respond. On June 11, 2014, Plaintiff moved for entry of
default against CSS. The parties later stipulated to vacate
default on July 16, 2014 and CSS answered the complaint on
July 21, 2014. ECF 14, 20.
March 31, 2015, Plaintiff moved to compel discovery and for
sanctions concurrently, because CSS had not served its
initial disclosures by the October 30, 2014 deadline. ECF
27-1. In the motions, Plaintiff contended that CSS had also
served objections to Plaintiff's discovery requests on
December 2, 2014, but no documents had been produced.
Id. After several meet-and-confers in February, CSS
did not respond by the deadline set forth in Plaintiff's
meet-and-confer letter and still had not served its
disclosures or produce the requested documents when the
motion to compel discovery was filed. Id. In
response, CSS's counsel stated that due to an illness, an
extension of time was necessary and made a request in an
email soon after the deadline set forth in Plaintiff's
meet-and-confer letter. ECF 33. The Court granted the motion
to compel but denied the motion for sanctions. ECF 41 On June
8, 2015, Plaintiff moved for leave to amend the complaint
because she had only learned in the week prior that CSS was
operated by Charles Stanley and Stanley's involvement in
the case. ECF 45-1. After the Court granted this unopposed
motion, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint on August
5, 2015. ECF 53, 54. On August 31, 2015, Defendants moved to
dismiss the first amended complaint in its entirety,
including those directed to Charles Stanley, Jr. ECF 60. The
parties also attended a mediation session on September 29,
2015 but did not settle.
December 17, 2015, this Court granted the motion to dismiss
in part with leave to amend certain claims so that Plaintiff
could allege adequate facts in connection with “display
and publication” of “personal financial
information.” ECF 73. Plaintiff then filed a second
amended complaint on January 13, 2016, which Defendants moved
to dismiss on March 17, 2016. ECF 74, 75. The Court denied
Defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended
complaint on June 16, 2016. ECF 87.
this time in April 2016, Plaintiff moved to compel
depositions and for discovery sanctions concurrently because
Defendants failed to respond to the notices of deposition
twice and for failure to appear. ECF 77-1. The Court granted
the motion to compel depositions, denied the motion for
sanctions, and ordered Defendants to reimburse
Plaintiff's counsel for travel in the form of a
reasonably priced round-trip air ticket from San Jose to
Southern California. ECF 84.
21, 2016, Plaintiff moved for an entry of default against
Defendants, who had failed to respond to the second amended
complaint. ECF 89. Defendants responded that they had failed
to respond only because of a clerical oversight and filed an
answer the next day. ECF 90, 91.
then moved for summary judgment on August 4, 2016, to which
Defendants also failed to respond, believing that CSS's
bankruptcy filing also stayed the case against Defendant
Charles Stanley Jr. ECF 93, 94. After the Court's order
clarifying that the case would not be stayed against the
non-bankrupt Defendant, Charles Stanley, Jr., Defendant
Stanley sought leave to file an opposition, which the Court
later granted. ECF 96, 97, 98.
order granting in part Plaintiff's motion for summary
judgment, the Court found in favor of Plaintiff with respect
to certain sections of the FDCPA and FRDCPA, awarded $1, 500
in statutory damages, and reasonable costs and attorneys'
fees. ECF 105. Plaintiff later voluntarily dismissed CSS
without prejudice. ECF 107.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for attorneys'
fees and costs. Plaintiff seeks an award of $64, 620.00 for
attorneys' fees and $2005.89 in costs and litigation
expenses. Mot. 2, ECF 113. Defendant Stanley opposes the
motion, claiming that the amount sought is unreasonable for
several reasons. ...