CHS Inc. v. Black Rock Ranch, LLC et al

Filing 20

ORDER Granting 14 Motion for Entry of Default Judgment Against Defendant; granting 18 Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs. Signed by Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson. (PL, Case Administrator) (Main Document 20 replaced on 3/6/2018 to correct typographical error) (PL, Case Administrator).

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FILED IN THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON 1 Mar 06, 2018 2 SEAN F. MCAVOY, CLERK 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON 6 7 CHS, INC, a Minnesota cooperative, NO: 2:17-CV-384-RMP Plaintiff, 8 9 10 ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT v. 11 DAVID V. BLACK, an individual and sole proprietor doing business as Black Rock Ranch, 12 Defendant. 13 14 BEFORE THE COURT are Plaintiff CHS, Inc.’s motion for entry of default 15 judgment, ECF No. 14, and motion for attorneys’ fees and costs, ECF No. 18. 16 Defendant David V. Black did not respond to the pending motions and has not 17 otherwise appeared in this action. Having reviewed Plaintiff’s motions, the 18 supporting declarations and documents, and the remaining record, the Court finds 19 adequate basis to enter default judgment against Defendant Mr. Black. 20 21 In light of the District Court Clerk’s entry of an order of default in this matter on January 26, 2018, ECF No. 13, this Court has the authority to enter a ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ~ 1 1 default judgment provided that Plaintiffs have demonstrated by sufficient evidence 2 the amount of damages that they claim. Fed. R. Civ. P. 55; Eitel v. McCool, 782 3 F.2d 1470, 1471–72 (9th Cir. 1986). The Court has considered the proposed 4 default judgment, and the supporting declarations submitted by Plaintiff, ECF Nos. 5 15 and 16, and concludes that entry of default judgment is appropriate in the 6 amounts specified by Plaintiff. 7 Furthermore, Plaintiff has submitted the “Commercial Application for 8 Credit,” signed by Defendant, which provides for “reasonable attorney fees and 9 court costs” incurred by Plaintiff in recovering Defendant’s debt, ECF No. 16-1, 10 and Plaintiff has moved for entry of an award of attorney’s fees and costs, ECF No. 11 18. Plaintiff submitted a signed declaration from its attorney detailing the fees and 12 costs incurred in pursuing this matter through the beginning of February 2018, 13 when the motion for default judgment was filed. ECF No. 18. 14 Reasonable attorney’s fees generally are determined by the “lodestar” 15 calculation method in which the Court first determines a reasonable fee by 16 multiplying the “the number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation” by “a 17 reasonable hourly rate,” Hensely v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983), and, 18 second, determines whether the lodestar amount should be adjusted by any 19 extenuating factor contemplated in Kerr v. Screen Extras Guild, Inc., 526 F.2d 67, 20 70 (9th Cir. 1975). Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees seeks the lodestar amount 21 alone. The Court finds that the hourly rate and number of hours expended are ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ~ 2 1 reasonable in light of the many fee requests this Court has reviewed. Finally, 2 Plaintiff’s requested legal expenses and costs are also specified in counsel’s 3 declaration and appear consistent with necessary expenses to secure relief for 4 Plaintiff in this action. 5 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 6 1. Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Default Judgment, ECF No. 14, is 7 8 GRANTED. 2. Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs, ECF No. 18, is 9 10 GRANTED. 3. Default judgment shall be entered in favor of Plaintiff CHS Inc. against 11 Defendant David V. Black, an individual and sole proprietor doing 12 business as Black Rock Ranch, as follows: 13 a. In the principal sum of $142,217.42; 14 b. Prejudgment interest on the principal sum at the rate of 18% per 15 annum as follows: 16 c. $6,592.65 from October 31, 2017, through February 2, 2018; and 17 d. $2,179.30 ($70.13 per day from February 3, 2018, to the date of 18 19 this Order). 4. Plaintiff’s attorney fees, costs and disbursements shall be included in 20 the judgment as follows: 21 a. $11,040.00 in attorney fees through February 2, 2018; ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ~ 3 1 b. $65.04 in legal expenses through February 2, 2018; and 2 c. $616.57 in costs and disbursements through February 2, 2018. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 5. Post-judgment interest shall be allowed as provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1961. IT IS SO ORDERED. The District Court Clerk is directed to enter this Order, enter judgment as directed, provide copies to counsel, and close this case. DATED March 6, 2018. s/ Rosanna Malouf Peterson ROSANNA MALOUF PETERSON United States District Judge 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ~ 4

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