Jablonski Enterprises, LTD v. Nye County et al

Filing 103

ORDER that 73 Defendants Greg Ekins and G.I.S. Land Services' Motion for Attorney Fees is denied, without prejudice. FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants may refile their Motion for Attorney's Fees no later than October 2, 2017 and that Plaintiff is permitted to file a Response. Signed by Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr on 8/28/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MMM)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 7 8 9 10 11 12 JABLONSKI ENTERPRISES, LTD., ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) NYE COUNTY, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) __________________________________________) Case No. 2:15-cv-02296-GMN-GWF ORDER 13 14 This matter is before the Court on Defendants Greg Ekins and G.I.S. Land Services’ Motion 15 for Attorney’s Fees (ECF No. 73), filed on February 21, 2017. Plaintiff filed its omnibus Response 16 (ECF No. 88) on March 10, 2017. Defendants filed their Reply (ECF No. 92) on March 17, 2017. 17 On July 27, 2017, the Court instructed the parties to file supplements to their motions attaching any 18 state court award of attorney’s fees and costs. See ECF No. 96. Defendants filed their Supplement 19 (ECF No. 97) and Plaintiff filed its Supplement (ECF No. 98) on July 28, 2017. 20 BACKGROUND 21 This case arises from the disputed ownership of a parcel of real property in Nye County, 22 Nevada, known as parcel number APN-106-06. Plaintiff alleges he was the titled legal owner of the 23 property and that Defendants conspired to transfer the title of the property without consulting 24 Plaintiff. See ECF No. 1. Plaintiff filed his Complaint (ECF No. 1) on December 4, 2015, and 25 subsequently, filed an identical Complaint in the Fifth Judicial District Court, Nye County, Nevada, 26 alleging the following: (1) violation of civil rights; (2) forgery of conveyance; (3) uttering a forged 27 instrument; (4) conversion; (5) civil conspiracy; (6) civil racketeering; and (7) respondeat superior. 28 Defendants filed their special Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Nevada’s anti-Strategic Lawsuits 1 2 Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”) statute, NRS § 41.650, et seq. ECF No. 11. In May 2016, the Fifth Judicial District Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. On 3 October 6, 2016, Defendants filed Supplements to their Motion to Dismiss (ECF Nos. 62) attaching 4 the state court order dismissing Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice and requested that the Court grant 5 dismissal. See ECF Nos. 60, 61. On February 7, 2017, the Court granted Defendants’ special Motion 6 to Dismiss, entered judgment, and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims with prejudice as being barred by the 7 doctrine of res judicata. ECF Nos. 67, 68. 8 9 Defendants argue that NRS 41.670(1) provides that the Court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs upon the grant of a special motion to dismiss under NRS § 41.660. See 10 Motion for Attorney’s Fees (ECF No. 73), pg. 2. Plaintiff argues that its claims were dismissed based 11 on res judicata and, therefore, Defendants are not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees under NRS § 12 41.670. Response (ECF No. 88), pg. 3. Plaintiff further argues that Defendants’ request for 13 attorney’s fees should be denied for failing to provide billing details. Id. at pg. 5. 14 DISCUSSION 15 In an action involving state law claims, district courts apply the law of the forum state to 16 determine whether a party is entitled to attorneys’ fees, unless it conflicts with a valid federal statute 17 or procedural rule. Jiangmen Kinwai Furniture Decoration Co. Ltd v. Int'l Mkt. Centers, Inc., 2016 18 WL 6637699, at *2 (D. Nev. Nov. 8, 2016) (citing MRO Commc'ns, Inc. v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co., 197 19 F.3d 1276, 1282 (9th Cir. 1999)). Under Nevada law, attorney’s fees are available only when 20 “authorized by rule, statute, or contract.” Flamingo Realty, Inc. v. M idwest Dev., Inc., 879 P.2d 69, 21 73(Nev. 1994); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 18.010. 22 The Local Rules for the United States District Court, District of Nevada, impose further 23 procedural requirements on motions for attorneys' fees and costs. Branch Banking & Tr. Co. v. 24 Jones/Windmill, LLC, 2017 WL 520547, at *2 (D. Nev. Feb. 7, 2017). LR 54-14 provides that a 25 motion for attorney’s fees must include a reasonable itemization and description of work performed 26 and that failure to provide such documentation may be deemed a consent to denial of the motion. 27 Defendants’ motion does not satisfy the requirements of LR 54-14(b). Defendants attach their 28 counsel’s affidavit, but fail to provide an itemization and description of the work performed. The 2 1 Court is, therefore, unable to determine the reasonableness of the requested attorney’s fees. Pursuant 2 to LR 54-14, Defendants’ motion should be denied without prejudice. Should Defendants refile their 3 motion, it must comply with LR 54-14. Accordingly, 4 5 6 7 8 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants Greg Ekins and G.I.S. Land Services’ Motion for Attorney’s Fees (ECF No. 73) is denied, without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants may refile their Motion for Attorney’s Fees no later than October 2, 2017 and that Plaintiff is permitted to file a Response. DATED this 28th day of August, 2017. 9 10 11 ______________________________________ GEORGE FOLEY, JR. United States Magistrate Judge 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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