Guild Mortgage Company v. Buccat et al
ORDER AWARDING PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEYS' FEES. Signed by JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI on 12/4/2013. 19 ~ this Court HEREBY AWARDS Guild Mortgage $2,604.40 in removal-related attorneys' fees and $9.50 in removal-related cost s, for a total award of $2,613.90. This Court ORDERS Defendant Margarita Aquino Buccat to pay this amount to Guild Mortgages counsel by no later than February 5, 2014. (ecs, )CERTIFICATE OF SERVICEParticipan ts registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAII
GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY,
MARGARITA AQUINO BUCCAT;
BENEFICIAL FINANCIAL I INC;
JOHN DOES 1-10; JANE DOES 1- )
10; DOE PARTNERSHIPS 1-10;
DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10; DOE
ENTITIES 1-10 AND DOE
GOVERNMENTAL UNITES 1-10,
CIVIL 13-00398 LEK-BMK
ORDER AWARDING PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS’ FEES
On October 17, 2013, this Court issued an order
granting Plaintiff Guild Mortgage Company’s (“Guild Mortgage”)
Motion to Remand Action Removed from the Circuit Court of the
First Circuit, State of Hawai`i, filed on August 26, 2013
(“Motion to Remand” and “10/17/13 Order”).1
to Remand), 21 (10/17/13 Order).2]
[Dkt. nos. 5 (Motion
The 10/17/13 Order remanded
the case to the state court and granted Guild Mortgage’s request
for removal-related expenses pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Guild Mortgage requests $3,347.53 in removal-related
attorneys’ fees and costs.
[Supplement at 4.]
Guild Mortgage also filed a supplement to the Motion
(“Supplement”) on September 24, 2013. [Dkt. no. 17.]
The 10/17/13 Order is also available at 2013 WL 5675540.
Order gave Defendant Margarita Aquino Buccat (“Buccat”) until
October 31, 2013 to file an opposition to the amount of the
2013 WL 5675540, at *4.
Buccat did not file a response
to either the Motion to Remand or the amount of the request for
The Court finds this matter suitable for
disposition without a hearing pursuant to Rule LR7.2(d) of the
Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for
the District of Hawai`i (“Local Rules”).
consideration of the fee request and the relevant legal
authority, this Court HEREBY AWARDS Guild Mortgage $2,604.40 in
removal-related attorneys’ fees and $9.50 in removal-related
costs, for a total award of $2,613.90.
The only issue remaining before this Court is the
amount of the § 1447(c) award of removal-related expenses.
Mortgage requests $3,333.63 in attorneys’ fees, plus tax, and
$13.90 in costs.
Federal courts generally determine reasonable
attorneys’ fees based on the traditional “lodestar” calculation
set forth in Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983).
court must determine a reasonable fee by multiplying “the number
of hours reasonably expended on the litigation” by “a reasonable
Id. at 433.
Second, the court must decide whether
to adjust the lodestar amount based on an evaluation of the
factors articulated in Kerr v. Screen Extras Guild, Inc., 526
F.2d 67, 70 (9th Cir. 1975), which have not been subsumed in the
(1) the time and labor required, (2) the novelty
and difficulty of the questions involved, (3) the
skill requisite to perform the legal service
properly, (4) the preclusion of other employment
by the attorney due to acceptance of the case,
(5) the customary fee, (6) whether the fee is
fixed or contingent, (7) time limitations imposed
by the client or the circumstances, (8) the amount
involved and the results obtained, (9) the
experience, reputation, and ability of the
attorneys, (10) the “undesirability” of the case,
(11) the nature and length of the professional
relationship with the client, and (12) awards in
Kerr, 526 F.2d at 70.
Factors one through five have been
subsumed in the lodestar calculation.
See Morales v. City of San
Rafael, 96 F.3d 359, 364 n.9 (9th Cir. 1996).
Further, the Ninth
Circuit, extending City of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 567
(1992), held that the sixth factor, whether the fee is fixed or
contingent, may not be considered in the lodestar calculation.
See Davis v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, 976 F.2d 1536, 1549
(9th Cir. 1992), vacated in part on other grounds, 984 F.2d 345
(9th Cir. 1993).
Once calculated, the “lodestar” is
See Pennsylvania v. Del. Valley
Citizens’ Council for Clean Air, 483 U.S. 711, 728 (1987).
party seeking attorneys’ fees bears the burden of proving that
the requested fees are associated with the relief requested and
are reasonably necessary to achieve the results obtained.
Tirona v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 821 F. Supp. 632, 636
(D. Hawai`i 1993) (citations omitted).
Guild Mortgage’s counsel, Mary Martin, Esq., requests
$200 per hour for sixteen hours of work related to removal and
Ms. Martin has been licensed to practice law in
Hawai`i for over twenty years.
This Court finds that $200 per
hour is manifestly reasonable for an attorney with Ms. Martin’s
Ms. Martin states that she worked 10.0 hours associated
with the removal and remand process as of September 19, 2013.
[Supplement, Decl. of Counsel at ¶ 9, Exh. A.]
She also requests
an estimated 2.0 hours to prepare the Supplement and an
additional 4.0 hours to “respond to any opposition to the
[Motion to Remand] and the hearing on October 21, 2013.”
Buccat, however, did not file an opposition to the Motion to
Remand, and this Court vacated the hearing on the Motion to
Remand, which was originally scheduled for October 21, 2013.
Guild Mortgage filed a brief reply in support of the Motion to
Remand, reiterating its position and emphasizing Buccat’s failure
[Dkt. no. 19.]
This Court finds 0.5 hours to be
reasonable for the preparation of the reply and excludes the
remaining 3.5 hours estimated for the preparation of the reply
and attending the hearing that was vacated after the filing of
This Court finds that 12.5 hours is a reasonable
amount for counsel’s work associated with the removal and remand
This Court therefore FINDS that Guild Mortgage is
entitled to the following award of reasonable removal-related
4.176% general excise tax
Guild Mortgage also requests $13.90 in removal-related
costs, consisting of $11.00 for photocopies and $2.90 for
[Supplement, Decl. of Counsel, Exh. B.]
The per page
cost for the photocopies is $0.25, indicating that counsel made
The practice of this district court,
however, is to allow $0.15 per page for in-house photocopying.
See Local Rule LR54.2(f)(4).
This Court therefore finds $6.60 to
be reasonable for photocopying costs.
This Court finds that the
$2.90 for postage is manifestly reasonable.
This Court FINDS that Guild Mortgage is entitled to
$9.50 in removal-related costs.
On the basis of the foregoing, this Court HEREBY AWARDS
Guild Mortgage $2,604.40 in removal-related attorneys’ fees and
$9.50 in removal-related costs, for a total award of $2,613.90.
This Court ORDERS Defendant Margarita Aquino Buccat to pay this
amount to Guild Mortgage’s counsel by no later than February 5,
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED AT HONOLULU, HAWAII, December 4, 2013.
/s/ Leslie E. Kobayashi
Leslie E. Kobayashi
United States District Judge
GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY VS. MARGARITA AQUINO BUCCAT, ET AL.; CIVIL
NO. 13-00398 LEK-BMK; ORDER AWARDING PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS’ FEES
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