Greater St. Louis Construction Laborers Welfare Fund et al v. J L Brown Contracting Service, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs' motion for attorney's fees [Doc. # 25 ] is granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant J L Brown Contracting Service, Inc. shall pay to plaintiffs $464.00 for attorney's fees. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 10/21/2016. (CLO)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
GREATER ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION
LABORERS WELFARE FUND, et al.,
J L BROWN CONTRACTING SERVICE, INC.,
Case No. 4:15-CV-00960-CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees
incurred in bringing a motion for contempt. Defendant failed to comply with the
Court’s October 6, 2015, order directing it to produce an accounting for inspection
by the plaintiffs. Accordingly, the Court granted plaintiffs’ motion for civil contempt,
and ordered the plaintiffs to file the instant verified statement of attorney’s fees
and costs incurred in bringing that motion.
“Federal courts possess certain inherent powers, including the power to
punish for contempts, which reaches both conduct before the court and that beyond
the court’s confines.” Isaacson v. Manty, 721 F.3d 533, 538–39 (8th Cir. 2013)
(quotation marks and citation omitted). “A court’s inherent power includes the
discretionary ‘ability to fashion an appropriate sanction for conduct which abuses
the judicial process.’” Stevenson v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 354 F.3d 739, 745 (8th Cir.
2004) (citation omitted). A district court is “give[n] substantial deference” to decide
“whether sanctions are warranted because of its familiarity with the case and
counsel involved.” Willhite v. Collins, 459 F.3d 866, 869 (8th Cir. 2006) (citation
omitted). “Civil contempt may be employed either to coerce the defendant into
compliance with a court order or to compensate the complainant for losses
sustained, or both.” Chi. Truck Drivers v. Bhd. Labor Leasing, 207 F.3d 500, 505
(8th Cir. 2000) (citation omitted). A court may require a contemnor to bear a
movant’s attorney’s fees and costs incurred to bring a motion for contempt. See
Jake’s, Ltd., Inc. v. City of Coates, 356 F.3d 896, 900 (8th Cir. 2004); see also
Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 44–45 (1991); E.D. Mo. L.R. 12.02.
Plaintiffs submit the affidavit of attorney Nathan K. Gilbert, who states that
his firm’s standard hourly billing rate is $180.00 for attorneys’ services of the type
performed here. Mr. Gilbert worked a total of 2.3 hours preparing the motion for
contempt and other related documents. He also states that his firm’s standard
hourly billing rate for paralegal and legal assistant services is $100.00. Ms. Jamie C.
Buckley, a legal assistant, worked a total of 0.5 hours preparing the motion for
contempt. In total, $464.00 in legal services was incurred in drafting, reviewing,
revising, and filing the contempt motion. The Court finds that the hourly rate and
hours expended are reasonable.
Therefore, defendant will be ordered to pay
plaintiffs $464.00 as attorney’s fees.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees [Doc.
#25] is granted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant J L Brown Contracting Service,
Inc. shall pay to plaintiffs $464.00 for attorney’s fees.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 21st day of October, 2016.
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