United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS'
FEES [DOC. NO. 5.]
T. BENITEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
December 4, 2017, Plaintiff Carrillo Property Investments,
LLC. ("Carrillo") filed a Motion for Attorneys'
Fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
§ 54(d). Defendants have not responded to the Motion.
For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.
facts and procedural history of this case are familiar to the
Court and parties. The Court's Order granting Plaintiffs
Motion for Remand outlines in detail the relevant facts and
procedural history. Any critical facts or procedural
history is noted in the Court's analysis below.
1447(c) of Title 28 of the United States Code authorizes the
award of "just costs and any actual expenses, including
attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal."
"Absent unusual circumstances, courts may award
attorney's fees under [section 1447(c)] only where the
removing party lacked an objectively reasonable basis for
seeking removal." Martin v. Franklin Capital
Corp., 546 U.S. 132, 141 (2005).
reflected in the Remand Order, Defendants had no objectively
reasonable basis for seeking removal. (Doc. No. 4.)
Accordingly, the Court awarded Carrillo attorneys' fees
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
now seeks $2, 271.50 for attorney's fees that have been
incurred as a result of the improper removal. In support,
Carrillo provides the declaration of Attorney Rachael
Callahan. (Doc. No. 5-2.) Ms. Callahan avers that between her
and contract Attorney Michael G. Olinik, "7.7 work
hours" were incurred preparing the Motion to Remand and
Motion for Attorneys' Fees. (Callahan Decl., ¶ 14.)
Motion to Remand
Attorney Olinik: 4.2 hours preparing the motion. (Olinik
Decl, ¶ 9.) Attorney Callahan: .5 hours revising the
motion and preparing it for filing. (Callahan Decl., Â¶ 11.)
Motion for Attorneys' Fees
Attorney Olinik: 2.5 hours preparing the motion. (Olinik
Deck, ¶ 10.) Attorney Callahan: .5 hours revising the
motion and preparing it for filing. (Callahan Decl, Â¶12.)
Courts calculate awards for attorneys' fees using the
"lodestar" method. See Caudle v. Bristow
Optical Co., Inc., 224 F.3d 1014, 1028 (9th Cir. 2000);
Morales v. City of San Rafael, 96 F.3d 359, 363 (9th
Cir. 1996). "The 'lodestar' is calculated by
multiplying the number of hours the prevailing party
reasonably expended on the litigation by a reasonable hourly
rate." Morales, 96 F.3d at 363. In determining
reasonable fees, courts look to the prevailing market rates
in the community in which the court sits. Schwarz v. Sec
'y of Health & Human Servs., 73 F.3d 895, 908
(9th Cir. 1995); see also Camancho v. Bridgeport Fin.,
Inc., 523 F.3d 973, 979 (9th Cir. 2008).
Callahan has been practicing law for approximately seven
years and her hourly rate is $295 per hour. (Id., Â¶
5.) Mr. Olinik has been practicing law for approximately nine
years and has previously been approved at a rate of $350 per
hour in the San Diego Superior Court. (Olinik Decl., ¶
8.) These rates are reasonable in this community.
Defendants did not respond to Carrillo's Motion to Remand
or address the issue of attorneys' fees in any manner.
The fact that the Defendants failed to oppose either motion
implies that they recognized the meritless nature of the
Court finds that 7.7 hours for preparation and revision of
the Plaintiffs Motion for Remand and Motion for
Attorneys' Fees is reasonable as is the hourly rate of
$295.00. Accordingly, the Court awards attorneys' ...