Schutza et al v. San Diego, City of et al

Filing 110

ORDER on Motion for Attorneys' Fees [Doc. No. 104 ]. Signed by Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on 7/24/2017. (jjg)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 SCOTT SCHUTZA and JOHN KARCZEWSKI, 15 16 17 ORDER ON MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES [Doc. No. 104] Plaintiffs, 13 14 Case No.: 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) v. CITY OF SAN DIEGO; AIR CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE, INC., a California Corporation doing business as TORREY PINES GLIDERPORT, and DOES 1-10, 18 Defendants. 19 20 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Scott Schutza and John 21 Karczewski’s (collectively “Plaintiffs”) Motion for Attorneys’ Fees under the Americans 22 with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). [Doc. No. 104.] The Court finds the matter suitable for 23 determination on the papers submitted in accordance with Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1) and 24 therefore denies Defendants’ request oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, the 25 Court grants the motion. 26 27 28 1 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 I. 2 Plaintiffs are both unable to walk or stand independently as the result of paraplegia, 3 and use wheelchairs for mobility. In the Spring of 2013, Plaintiffs visited the Torrey Pines 4 Gliderport (“Gliderport”) seeking to join other spectators in watching the sailplanes, hang 5 gliders and paragliders and encountered various barriers that denied them full and equal 6 access to and enjoyment of the premises. Background 7 On December 12, 2013, Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendants alleging violations 8 of ADA, 41 U.S.C Sections 12101, et seq., the California Unruh Civil Rights Act (the 9 “Unruh Act”), California Civil Code Section 51, et seq., and the California Disabled 10 Persons Act (“CPDA”), California Civil Code Sections 54.1 et seq. [Doc. No. 1.] 11 After two years of litigation, the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. 12 [Doc. Nos. 47, 50.] On June 29, 2016, this Court issued an Order that denied Defendants’ 13 motion for summary judgment and granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs’ motion for 14 summary judgment. [Doc. No. 65.] In its Order, the Court determined that the Gliderport 15 was a place of public accommodation that was subject to the ADA. The Court granted 16 Plaintiffs’ Title III ADA claim related to the portable toilets located at the Gliderport, the 17 Unruh Act claim and the CPDA claim. Finding triable issues of fact regarding the ease of 18 remediation of the violations occurring at the parking lot, concession stand and picnic 19 tables and whether the relief sought by Plaintiffs were reasonable accommodations, the 20 Court denied Plaintiffs’ Title II ADA claim and the Title III ADA claims on these barriers. 21 Following the November 4, 2016 Pretrial Conference, the parties engaged in 22 settlement discussions that culminated in the issuance of a consent decree. [Doc. No. 107.] 23 Under the terms of the consent decree, Defendants would provide two designated disable 24 accessible parking spots, one fully compliant accessible unisex bathroom and an accessible 25 concession stand at the Gliderport. The parties also agreed to have the Court determine the 26 amount of recoverable statutory penalties and the attorneys’ fees award. 27 On April 14, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their application for attorneys’ fees and costs, 28 requesting a total of $90,533. [Doc. No. 104.] Additionally, Plaintiffs request $24,000 in 2 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 statutory penalties under the Unruh Act. [Id. at 61.] Defendants filed their opposition [Doc. 2 No. 108] and Plaintiffs filed their reply [Doc. No. 109]. 3 II. 4 The ADA provides that the court, “in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, 5 other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee, including litigation expenses, and 6 costs.” 42 U.S.C. § 12205. “A prevailing plaintiff under the ADA should ordinarily 7 recover an attorney’s fee unless special circumstances would render such an award unjust.” 8 Jankey v. Poop Deck, 537 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and 9 citation omitted). Without this fee-shifting provision “few aggrieved parties would be in a 10 position to advance the public interest by invoking the injunctive powers of the federal 11 courts.” Newman v. Piggie Park Enters., Inc., 390 U.S. 400, 402 (1968) (per curiam). 12 “Consequently, recovery is the rule rather than the exception.” Jankey, 537 F.3d at 113 13 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 14 violation of the Unruh Act “is liable for . . . any [attorneys’] fees that may be determined 15 by the court. . . .” CAL. CIV. CODE § 52(a). Legal Standard Additionally, any person found in 16 Typically, “plaintiffs may be considered ‘prevailing parties’ for attorney’s fees 17 purposes if they succeed on any significant issue in litigation which achieves some of the 18 benefit the parties sought in bringing suit.” Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983) 19 (citation omitted). “The prevailing party inquiry does not turn on the magnitude of the 20 relief obtained.” Farrar v. Hobby, 506 U.S. 103, 111 (1992). Rather, in ADA cases, “[f]or 21 a litigant to be a ‘prevailing party’ for the purposes of awarding attorneys’ fees, he must 22 meet two criteria: he must achieve a material alteration of the legal relationship of the 23 parties, and that alteration must be judicially sanctioned.” Jankey, 537 F.3d at 1129-30 24 (quoting P.N. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, 474 F.3d 1154, 1172 (9th Cir. 2007)). 25 26 27 28 1 Document numbers and page references are to those assigned by CM/ECF for the docket entry. 3 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 The most useful starting point for determining attorneys’ fees awarded under the 2 ADA is by performing the lodestar calculation – the number of hours reasonably expended 3 on the litigation multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433. For a 4 fee request to be adjudged reasonable, it must “exclude from this initial fee calculation 5 hours that were not ‘reasonably expended’” and should not include fee requests for hours 6 that are excessive, redundant, or otherwise unnecessary. Id. at 433-34. 7 III. Discussion 8 Defendants do not challenge Plaintiffs’ prevailing party status. Having entered 9 judgment for Plaintiffs on one of their ADA claims, their Unruh Act claim and their CDPA 10 claim, the Court finds them to be the prevailing party and therefore entitled to recover fees 11 and litigation expenses under the ADA and Unruh Act. 12 With their motion for attorneys’ fees and judgment, Plaintiffs submit a declaration 13 from one of their attorneys, Mr. Mark Potter, along with supporting documentation that 14 provide an itemized description of the time spent by their counsel on this matter beginning 15 on March 18, 2013 and ending in March 2017. [Doc. Nos. 104-2, 104-3.] The declaration 16 also sets forth counsel and his colleagues’ qualifications and hourly rates. Plaintiffs request 17 a total award in the amount of $90,533.00 demanding $84,055 in attorneys’ fees and $6,478 18 in litigation expenses. Further, Plaintiffs seek $24,000 in statutory penalties under the 19 Unruh Act; $12,000 per Plaintiff for each violation they encountered on three different 20 occasions. [Doc. No. 104-1 at 6.] 21 Defendants do not dispute the hourly rates of Plaintiffs’ counsel but object to the 22 award of any fees, and in the alternative, argue that any award should be proportionally 23 reduced to take into account all the facts and circumstances of the case and the results 24 obtained. [Doc. No. 108 at 5-25.] Defendants also assert that Plaintiffs should not be 25 awarded statutory damages, and assuming that they are so entitled, argue that Plaintiffs 26 must mitigate their damages under the Unruh Act. [Id. at 26-27.] 27 28 4 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) Fee award proportional to Plaintiffs’ recovery 1 A. 2 Defendants argue that Plaintiffs’ recovery should be reduced to reflect the minimal 3 success they achieved. [Doc. No. 108 at 11-14, 22-23.] Defendants posit that “Plaintiffs 4 received essentially no relief as a result of their attorney’s effort; the vast majority of the 5 relief received was provided voluntarily, independent of any settlement discussions, and 6 prior to the settlement demanded by Plaintiffs’ attorneys.” [Doc. No. 108 at 13:17-20.] 7 Plaintiffs counter that they have substantially prevailed, achieved excellent results that 8 warrant granting the full fee amount and that Defendants are downplaying the results 9 achieved. [Doc. No. 109 at 10-14.] The Court agrees with Plaintiff. 10 In determining the amount of fees to award, district courts must consider the results 11 obtained. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 434. “Where a plaintiff has obtained excellent results, his 12 attorney should recover a fully compensatory fee.” Id. at 435. In such circumstances 13 reduction of the fee award is not required simply because plaintiff has not prevailed on 14 every issue. Id. “If on the other hand, a plaintiff has achieved only partial or limited 15 success, the product of hours reasonably expended on the litigation as a whole times a 16 reasonable hourly rate may be an excessive amount.” Id. at 436. 17 The Court finds Defendants’ claim that Plaintiffs achieved little or no success 18 disingenuous and a misrepresentation of their stance throughout this litigation. While 19 Defendants claim they willingly made changes to alleviate the barriers long before the 20 negotiation of the settlement, they were unwilling to make any concessions or remedy any 21 of the barriers until after their summary judgment motion was denied in full. Further, the 22 Court finds Defendants’ assertion that Plaintiffs’ pursuit of their claims after they were 23 aware of Defendants compliance “unreasonable and vexatious tactics [that] accomplished 24 little more than to multiply the proceedings in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 1927” lacks merit. 25 28 U.S.C. § 1927 provides that any person “who so multiplies the proceedings in any case 26 unreasonably and vexatiously may be required by the court to satisfy personally the excess 27 costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct.” In the 28 Court’s view, Plaintiffs were simply ensuring that Defendants’ continued responsibility to 5 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 provide accessible parking spots, toilets and a concessions area was appropriately 2 memorialized. 3 In the complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that there were multiple barriers at the Gliderport 4 which prevented them, and similarly situated persons, “full and equal” access to 5 Defendants’ public facilities as required by the ADA. [Doc. No. 1 at ¶ 2.] Plaintiffs 6 identified the following barriers: (1) no designated accessible parking spaces; (2) no 7 accessible restroom facilities; (3) unsafe pedestrian paths of travel that were not accessible 8 to wheelchair uses; (4) no accessible picnic tables; (5) a concessions stand with a counter 9 that was too high and which had no accessible path to it and its adjoining seating area. [Id. 10 at ¶15.] As a result of Plaintiffs’ efforts, Defendants are obligated to provide and maintain 11 two designated accessible parking stalls with access aisles, a fully compliant accessible 12 restroom, an accessible transaction counter, and a picnic table that is accessible, properly 13 designated and reserved. [Doc. No. 107.] 14 The Court is familiar with the positions taken by the parties during this case. For 15 example, it was Defendants who contended that the Gliderport was not a place of public 16 accommodation and asserted that it did not have to provide ADA compliant restrooms, 17 eating areas and parking spaces because of the historic nature of the Gliderport. [Doc. Nos. 18 47, 55, 58, 63.] Furthermore, Defendants’ unwillingness to effectuate changes at the 19 Gliderport was evidenced by their contentions in their summary judgment briefings that 20 the public street provided an alternative site for watching the sailplanes, hang gliders and 21 paragliders [Doc. No. 63 at 5, fn. 4], and that replacing the partially complaint toilet with 22 one that was completely compliant was not readily achievable, would cost too much money 23 and that under the applicable ADA standard they were relieved of any responsibility to 24 provide any accessible toilet at all. [Doc. No. 55 at 11, 12; Doc. No. 63 at 10.] The Court 25 is not convinced that any of the changes effectuated at the Gliderport would have occurred 26 but for Plaintiffs’ pursuit of this lawsuit. 27 The Court is also unwilling to interpret Plaintiffs’ abandonment of their pedestrian 28 paths of travel claim as evidence of their ineligibility for a fee award. Rather, the Court 6 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 views it as a pragmatic response in consideration of how “readily achievable” remediation 2 of a coastal bluff would be. Defendants assert that “the single most divisive issue in this 3 case has been the grading of the coastal bluff in order to provide level parking or compliant 4 paths of travel.” [Doc. No. 108 at 8.] Yet, it was Defendants who claimed that the potential 5 presence of native artifacts and sensitivity of the surrounding ecosystem necessitated 6 involving multiple agencies, would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take years to 7 conclude while scoffing at Plaintiffs suggestions that it did not require such excessive 8 structural changes. [Doc. No. 47-1, 47-14, 47-16, 55-5, 55-6.] Notably, the consent decree 9 provides for the designation of two accessible stalls with access aisles, and allows for 10 delineation of the spaces via blue pavers, a solution that is markedly similar to one proposed 11 by Plaintiffs at the summary judgment stage. 12 Upon consideration of the results achieved, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have 13 “obtained excellent results, [and their] attorney[s] should recover a fully compensatory 14 fee.” Hensley, 461 U.S. at 435. 15 B. 16 Having found Plaintiffs’ excellent results support an award of fees, the Court 17 considers whether the lodestar amounts supports the requested attorneys’ fee award. 18 Plaintiffs’ counsel declares that they have worked over 246.9 on the case, and that the 19 calculated lodestar fee on these hours is $84,055.00. The Court concludes that the lodestar 20 amount supports approval of the requested attorneys’ fees. Lodestar calculation supports requested fee 21 Under the lodestar method, “the Court first determines the appropriate hourly rate 22 for the work performed, and then multiplies that amount by the number of hours properly 23 expended in doing the work. “Although ‘in extraordinary circumstances’ the amount 24 produced by the lodestar calculation may be increased, ‘there is a strong presumption that 25 the lodestar is sufficient.’” Antoninetti v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 643 F.3d, 1165, 26 1176 (9th Cir. 2010). Typically, “affidavits of the plaintiffs’ attorney and other attorneys 27 regarding prevailing fees in the community and rate determinations in other cases, 28 particularly those setting a rate for the plaintiffs’ attorney, are satisfactory evidence of the 7 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 prevailing market rate.” United Steelworkers of Am. v. Phelps Dodge Corp., 896 F.2d 403, 2 407 (9th Cir. 1990) (citing Chalmers v. City of L.A., 796 F.2d 1205, 1214 (9th Cir. 1986)). 3 See also PLCM Group v. Drexler, 22 Cal. 4th 1084, 1095 (2000) (a reasonable hourly rate 4 is the prevailing rate charged by attorneys of similar skill and experience in the relevant 5 community). In addition to considering affidavits and evidence submitted by the parties, 6 the court may “rely on its own familiarity with the legal market.” Ingram v. Oroudjian, 7 647 F.3d 925, 928 (9th Cir. 2011). For a fee request to be adjudged reasonable it must 8 “exclude from this initial fee calculation hours that were not ‘reasonably expended’” and 9 should not include fee requests for hours that are excessive, redundant, or otherwise 10 unnecessary. Hensley, 461 U.S. at 433-34. 11 1. Reasonableness of hourly rate 12 Defendants do not object to the hourly rate. Plaintiffs calculate the lodestar with the 13 following hourly rates for attorneys from the law firm Potter Handy, LLP and its’ Center 14 for Disability Access Division: $425 for Mark Potter, $425 for Russell Handy, $350 for 15 Phyl Grace, $250 for Chris Carson, $250 for Isabel Masanque, $250 for Amanda Lockhart, 16 $250 for Tamara Zaki. [Doc. No. 104-1 at 10.] In support, declarations and other evidence 17 are offered to demonstrate the reasonableness of these rates compared to the prevailing 18 market rates in the San Diego community for attorneys of their experience and ability. 19 [Doc. Nos. 104-2, 104-3.] Included as evidence are four central district cases, from 2011, 20 2015 and 2016, where Plaintiffs’ counsel requested similar hourly rates that were found to 21 be reasonable by the court. [Doc. Nos. 104-6 – 104-9.] See, e.g., Salinas v. Rite Aid Lease 22 Mgmt. Co., et al., No CV 10-7499 SVW (FMOx), 2011 WL 1107213, at *1-2 (C.D. Cal. 23 Mar. 17, 2011) (approving hourly rate of $425 for Messrs. Potter and Handy); Lopez v. 24 Gordon, Case No. 2:14-cv-07791-CAS(BKx), 2016 WL 6998563, at * 2 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 25 28, 2016) (concluding that the Mr. Potter’s hourly rate of $425, Ms. Grace’s hourly rate of 26 $350, Ms. Carson’s hourly rate of $250 and Ms. Masanque’s hourly rate of $250 were 27 reasonable.). 28 8 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 After reviewing the evidence offered and awards in similar cases, the Court 2 concludes the hourly rates Plaintiffs seek are reasonable. See United Steelworkers, 896 3 F.2d at 407 (rate determinations in other cases setting a rate for plaintiffs’ attorney provide 4 satisfactory evidence). 5 2. Inclusion of unnecessary hours in fee request 6 Defendants assert that Plaintiffs’ fee request should be reduced for unnecessary 7 hours. After tallying the entries in the chart proffered by Defendants, it appears that they 8 are requesting 23.4 hours be subtracted from the number of hours worked. Defendants 9 posit that Plaintiffs’ inclusion of the claim regarding the accessible picnic tables at the 10 Gliderport was in bad faith and take issue with a number of entries in Plaintiffs’ billing 11 records. [Doc. No. 108 at 13-22.] Plaintiffs object to all but one of Defendants’ challenged 12 entries, claiming entitlement to all but 2.2 of the 246.9 hours worked. 13 As to the picnic tables, the Court finds no merit in Defendants’ assertion. In the 14 order on the cross motions for summary judgment the Court determined that “[w]hether or 15 not these picnic tables are ADA compliant is a material fact in dispute.” [Doc. No. 65 at 16 24:14-15.] Defendants’ claim that Plaintiffs “acted in bad faith when they continued to 17 pursue their claim regarding the tables knowing all along that there were, in fact, accessible 18 tables at the Gliderport” ignores the Court’s earlier finding on the issue. If Defendants had 19 provided compliant picnic tables at the Gliderport prior to the filing of this lawsuit, they 20 did not provide such compliance evidence to the Court, or the issue would have been moot. 21 See Oliver v. Ralphs Grocery Co., 654 F.3d 903, 905 (9th Cir. 2011) (an ADA claim 22 becomes moot once the defendant corrects the violation because “damages are not 23 recoverable under Title III of the ADA – only injunctive relief is available for violations 24 of Title III.”). Accordingly, the Court declines to reduce the fee award on this basis. 25 Further, the Court has reviewed the billable entries that Defendants take issue with. 26 [Doc. No. 108 at 14-22.] While Defendants have generated a chart that includes the 43 27 challenged entries, they provide very little information pertaining to the reasons for the 28 challenge, aside from the conclusory entries “admin,” “attorneys cannot bill for review of 9 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 one’s own billing entries,” “unnecessary time expended,” “discussion between two 2 attorneys representing the same client cannot be billed to the client,” “discovery motion 3 denied,” “block billing” and “not billable.” The Court does not find such challenges 4 adequately describe why these hours were excessive. Furthermore, Defendants provide no 5 case law in support of their boilerplate conclusions or any evidence to support their 6 contentions before summarily concluding that “[n]one of the foregoing items are billable 7 or should be counted as compensable items.” Without more, the Court is unwilling to find 8 that these entries are not billable or that the time was not “reasonable expended” on the 9 litigation. 10 As Plaintiffs concede the duplicative billing entry regarding the public records 11 search performed by Mr. Potter, the Court will deduct 2.2 hours of his time, at a rate of 12 $425 an hour, from the total fee award. 13 C. Award of statutory damages under the Unruh Act 14 Plaintiffs assert that they are both entitled to $12,000 in statutory damages. 15 Defendants counter that an award of damages under the Unruh Act is at the discretion of 16 the Court and are not automatically awarded due to a violation. [Doc. No. 108 at 23-25.] 17 Relatedly, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs must mitigate their damages under the Unruh 18 Act and are precluded from “stacking their damages.” [Id. at 26-27.] 19 The Unruh Act provides that: 20 24 Whoever denies, aids or incites a denial, or makes any discriminatory or distinction contrary to Section 51 or 51.5, is liable for each and every offense for the actual damages, and any amount that may be determined by a jury, or a court sitting without a jury, up to a maximum of the three times the amount of actual damage but in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000), and any attorney’s fees that may be determined by the court in addition thereto, suffered by any person denied the rights provided by Section 5.1 or 51.5 25 CAL. CIV. CODE § 52(a). Because actual damages and statutory damages are listed as two 26 separate categories “proof of actual damages is not a prerequisite to recovery of statutory 27 minimum damages.” Botosan v. Paul McNally Realty, 216 F.3d 827, 835 (9th Cir. 2000). 28 See also Molski v. M.J. Cable, Inc., 481 F.3d 724, 731 (9th Cir. 2007) (“The litigant need 21 22 23 10 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 not prove she suffered actual damages to recover the independent statutory damages of 2 $4,000.”); Moore v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., 85 F. Supp. 3d 1176, 1183 (E.D. Cal. 2015) 3 (“To recover statutory damages, plaintiffs must showed that they were denied “equal 4 access,” proof of actual damages is not required.”). Further, when a plaintiff brings an 5 Unruh Act claim on the grounds that a defendant has violated the ADA, they “may obtain 6 statutory damages on proof of an ADA access violation without the need to demonstrate 7 additionally that the discrimination was intentional.” Munson v. Del Taco, 46 Cal. 4th 661, 8 670 (2009); Moore 85 F. Supp. 3d at 1183 (a violation of the ADA constitutes a violation 9 of the Unruh Act, therefore “[w]here the basis of liability for an Unruh Act violation is an 10 ADA violation, plaintiff need not prove intentional discrimination.”). 11 The Court declines Defendants’ invitation to revisit the issue of whether or not 12 Plaintiffs were denied full and equal access to the Gliderport, choosing instead to stand by 13 its earlier finding at the summary judgment stage. There, the Court concluded “Plaintiffs 14 established that they encountered an ADA violation on March 11, 2013 and March 13, 15 2013, and in September 2014 and therefore have established Unruh Act violations.” 2 [Doc. 16 No. 65 at 26:1-3.] See, e.g., Hubbard v. Rite Aid Corp., 433 F. Supp. 2d 1150, 1170 (S.D. 17 Cal. 2006) (holding that the evidence established three visits in which Plaintiff was denied 18 full access which entitled each Plaintiff to $12,000, $4,000 each per violation.). See also 19 Vogel v. Rite Aid Corp., 992 F. Supp. 2d 998, 1014 (C.D. Cal. 2014) (Plaintiff’s declaration 20 that he encountered barrier once and that his knowledge of the barrier deterred him from 21 making two subsequent visits was affirmative evidence sufficient to show three violations 22 of the Unruh Act. The court awarded Plaintiff $12,000 in statutory damages.) 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 Details regarding the access issues Plaintiffs’ experienced during their March 11 and March 13, 2013 visits to the Gliderport are provided in their declarations, [Doc. Nos. 50-3, 50-4], submitted in support of their motion for summary judgment. While at the Gliderport, Plaintiffs were unable to use the portable restrooms, were unaware of the existence of a toilet at the concession stand that may be wheelchair accessible, found only one parking spot designated for disable use, and encountered a concession stand with a counter that was too high for them. [Doc. No. 47-16 at 16-21, 39, 40-42, 43; Doc. No. 50-3; Doc. No. 50-4.] 11 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 The Court also disagrees with Defendants assertion that Plaintiffs are obligated to 2 mitigate damages. The Court continues to find that “there is no requirement that Plaintiff 3 mitigate damages when he is merely seeking statutory damages.” Langer v. McHale, Civil 4 No. 13cv2721-CAB-NLS, 2014 WL 5422973, at * 4 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20. 2014). 5 Accordingly, the Court concludes that under Section 52, Plaintiffs are entitled to 6 statutory damages totaling $24,000. Each Plaintiff shall receive an award of $12,000, 7 $4,000 for each of the three visits. 8 D. Litigation Expenses 9 As the prevailing party, Plaintiffs are also entitled to costs. See 29 U.S.C. § 1920, 10 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1), and Local Rule 54.1. 11 Defendants object to the inclusion of $1,200 paid to Mr. Taylor as “the fourth person 12 billing for site inspections and taking pictures.” [Doc. No. 108, at 22.] Within the 13 declaration of Mr. Potter filed in in support of the motion, Mr. Taylor is identified as the 14 individual who performed the investigations and visits to the Gliderport throughout the 15 case, gathered photographs and confirmed/denied Defendants’ representations about facts. 16 [Doc. No. 104-2 at ¶ 3.] The Court finds nothing untoward about the inclusion of Mr. 17 Taylor’s costs in the application and therefore declines to make any reduction in the 18 requested costs amount. See United Steelworkers, 896 F.2d at 407 (“Out of pocket 19 litigation expenses are reimbursable as part of the attorneys’ fee, distinct from the costs 20 already awarded under 28 U.S.C. § 1920.”) Accordingly, the Court accepts counsel’s declaration regarding costs and awards 21 22 $6,478.00 in costs. 23 IV. 24 In light of the foregoing, the Court finds the requested fees are reasonable, and grants 25 Conclusion Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees in the amount of $83,1203 and $6,478 in costs. The 26 27 28 3 This amount includes a deduction of $935 for 2.2 hours that Plaintiffs concede were duplicative. 12 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC) 1 Court also awards $12,000 in statutory damages to each of the Plaintiffs for the three 2 violations of the Unruh Act. 3 It is SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: July 24, 2017 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 13 3:13-cv-2992-CAB-(KSC)

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