Schlafly v. Eagle Forum et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Eagle Forums motion for leave to file an attachment ex parte (Doc. 48 ) is DENIED without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Eagle Forum will file, on or before November 30, 2017, either an unredacted copy of the invoice, or a redacted copy of the invoice attached to a motion and memorandum of law in support. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 11/16/17. (JAB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ANDREW L. SCHLAFLY,
EAGLE FORUM, et al.,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Eagle Forum’s amended motion to file
an attachment ex parte. (Doc. 45). Plaintiff Andrew L. Schlafly opposes the motion. (Doc.
On September 14, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiff’s second emergency motion for
temporary restraining order after a hearing. The Court awarded attorney’s fees and costs to
Eagle Forum and ordered it to submit a statement of costs incurred in defending the motion
for temporary restraining order. (Doc. 42). Defendant Eagle Forum thereafter sought to file
its statement of costs ex parte, claiming that the invoice contained privileged information and
that a redacted copy would not prejudice any party. It attached to its motion an un-redacted
copy of the invoice for the Court’s review and provided a redacted copy to Plaintiff. The
redacted copy redacted everything contained in the invoice with the exception of the name
and address of the firm representing Eagle Forum.
Plaintiff filed his opposition to the motion, contending that Eagle Forum failed to
produce admissible evidence in support of its demand for attorney’s fees, such as an affidavit
or declaration supporting the amount of time spent, the reasonableness of the billing rates
sought, or what Eagle Forum was actually obligated to pay. Moreover, Plaintiff argues that
Eagle Forum’s redaction violated his right to due process, which Plaintiff contends entitles
him to review the specific billing entries.
The district court has great discretion in determining the proper amount of reasonable
attorneys’ fees to be awarded in a case where a party has been sanctioned. Wescott Agri–
Products, Inc. v. Sterling State Bank, Inc., 682 F.3d 1091, 1094 (8th Cir. 2012). However,
when imposing sanctions, the Court must comply with the mandates of due process in
assessing fees. Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 50 (1991).
Here, Eagle Forum
provided Plaintiff with a billing statement that was redacted in its entirety. By doing so,
Eagle Forum has effectively deprived Plaintiff of the opportunity to review and respond to the
entries, hourly rate, or amount of time spent on each task. Therefore, the Court will deny
without prejudice Eagle Forum’s motion and direct Eagle Forum to file an unredacted copy of
the billing statement. If Eagle Forum still wishes to redact a portion of the billing statement,
the Court will entertain another motion with a memorandum of law in support of Eagle
Forum’s contention that such redaction is permissible.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant Eagle Forum’s motion for leave to
file an attachment ex parte (Doc. 48) is DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Eagle Forum will file, on or before
November 30, 2017, either an unredacted copy of the invoice, or a redacted copy of the
invoice attached to a motion and memorandum of law in support.
Dated this 16th day of November, 2017.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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