Toll Brothers, Inc v. Lin et al

Filing 245

ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti denying 236 Motion for Attorney Fees (sclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/4/2009)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA TOLL BROTHERS, INC., ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) CHANG SU-O LIN; HONG LIEN LIN; ) ) HONG YAO LIN, ) Defendants. ) ___________________________________) ) AND RELATED COUNTER-CLAIMS. ) ) I. INTRODUCTION On September 22, 2009, Defendants Chang Su-O Lin, Hong Lien Lin, and Hong Yao Lin (the "Lins") filed a Motion to Increase the Fees Awarded in the Judgment To Include Those Incurred Defending Toll Brothers, Inc.'s Unsuccessful Post-Judgment Motion. No. 236 ("Motion"). Docket Case No. 08-987 SC ORDER DENYING MOTION TO INCREASE THE FEES AWARDED IN THE JUDGMENT United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Plaintiff Toll Brothers, Inc. ("Toll"), filed Docket Nos. 240, an Opposition and the Lins submitted a Reply. 242. For the following reasons, the Motion is DENIED. II. BACKGROUND After a two-week bench trial, the Court found that Toll breached its contract with the Lins. Docket No. 216. On June 25, Docket No. 2009, the Court entered judgment in favor of the Lins. 226 ("Judgment"). The Court awarded the Lins $1,111,907 in See id. On July 6, attorneys' fees, and $56,460.46 in costs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California 2009, Toll filed a Motion to Amend Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Alter Judgment. Amend"). Docket No. 227 ("Motion to The Court denied the Motion to Amend on August 20, 2009. The Lins seek to increase Docket No. 231 ("Aug. 20, 2009 Order"). their attorneys' fee award by $22,257.45 for work performed responding to the Motion to Amend. Mot. at 6. III. LEGAL STANDARD Rule 54(d)(2)(B) provides that a motion for attorneys' fees must be filed no later than fourteen days after the entry of judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(2)(B). The filing of a post- United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 trial motion tolls the time limit for filing a motion for attorneys' fees. Bailey v. County of Riverside, 414 F.3d 1023, A motion for fees "is timely if filed no 1025 (9th Cir. 2005). later than 14 days after the resolution of a Rule 50(b), Rule 52(b), or Rule 59 motion." Id. IV. DISCUSSION The Court finds that the Lins' Motion is untimely. Toll's Motion to Amend was brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(b). Mot. to Amend at 3. The Court denied Toll's The Lins did not file this Rule 52(b) motion on August 20, 2009. motion to increase their fee award until over one month later, on September 22, 2009. Since binding Ninth Circuit authority required the attorneys' fee motion to be filed no later than fourteen days after the Court's resolution of the Rule 52(b) motion, the Court finds that the Lins' motion to increase their 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California fee award is untimely. The Lins' reliance on Masalosalo v. Stonewall Ins. Co., 718 F.2d 955 (9th Cir. 1983), and League of Women Voters of California v. F.C.C., 751 F.2d 986 (9th Cir. 1985), is misplaced. Both decisions precede the 1993 amendment to the Federal Rules, which added the fourteen-day time limit for motions for attorneys' fees. See Advisory Committee Notes to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54. After the time limit was added, the Ninth Circuit endorsed the view that a failure to comply with the fourteen-day time limit is sufficient reason to deny a fee motion, absent some compelling showing of good cause. Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, Here, the Lins make no United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 229 F.3d 877, 889-90 (9th Cir. 2000). attempt to show good cause for their failure to comply with the time limit in Rule 54(d)(2)(B). Instead, they contend that the Reply Motion is governed by Rule 69(a)(1), not Rule 54(d)(2)(B). at 2. This argument is without merit. Rule 69 concerns the execution of money judgments and has no relevance to the question of the timeliness of their fees motion. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 69. V. CONCLUSION For the reasons explained above, the Court DENIES the Lins' Motion To Increase Fees Awarded in the Judgment. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: December 4, 2009 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3

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