Shumpert et al v. City of Tupelo, Mississippi et al
ORDER granting 89 Motion for Sanctions. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 5/15/2017. (rrz)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
PEGGY SHUMPERT, ET AL.
CIVIL ACTION NO: 1:16CV120-SA-DAS
CITY OF TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI
This matter is before the court on the defendants’ motion  for sanctions. The motion
stems from a previous order , wherein the court granted the defendants’ two motions to
compel. In that same order, the court also imposed sanctions on plaintiffs’ counsel, Carlos
Moore, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(5)(A). As a consequence, the
defendants were instructed to submit a detailed list of the expenses, including attorney’s fees,
they incurred in filing their motions to compel. The present motion provides a detailed
accounting for each of the defendants’ motions to compel. In total, the defendants are seeking
reimbursement of $3,086.00 in attorney’s fees.
Carlos Moore argues $3,086.00 is an unreasonable and unconscionable amount for two
motions to compel. In support of his position, Moore has submitted an affidavit from Michael
Carr, his co-counsel. Although he finds the billing rate reasonable, Carr takes issue with the
amount of time defense counsel spent on the motions to compel. With respect to first motion to
compel, Carr specifically objects to the billing of 2.3 hours for legal research because the motion
was only eight pages long and merely cites two general cases. For the second motion to compel,
Carr raises two issues. First, Carr believes that defense counsel has billed an unreasonable
amount of time. Carr also states that defense counsel impermissibly double billed when they
charged for both John Hill and Berk Huskison to read the plaintiffs’ response.
Having considered the motion, along with Moore’s arguments, the court finds the
defendants’ accounting of their expenses to be reasonable. This case has garnered the attention
of local, regional and even national media outlets. Heightened media scrutiny necessarily invites
heightened diligence in researching and drafting documents that are to become a part of the
public record. Therefore, the court finds that defense counsel did not spend (or bill) an
unreasonable amount of time on their two motions to compel.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that Carlos Moore shall reimburse the defendants—
in the amount of $3,086.00—for the reasonable costs they incurred in filing two motions to
compel. This amount shall be tendered to the defendants within two weeks of final judgment.
SO ORDERED this, the 15th day of May, 2017.
/s/ David A. Sanders
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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