United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
JOE HAND PROMOTIONS, INC.
TELAMAR RESTAURANT, LLC d/b/a TELAMAR RESTAURANTE, ET AL.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MICHAEL B. NORTH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
to a referral from the presiding District Judge (rec. doc.
17), presently before the Court is the request for attorneys
fees and costs of the Plaintiff herein, Joe Hand Promotions,
Inc. (Rec. doc. 18). Despite being given an opportunity to do
so (rec. doc. 19), Defendants have filed nothing in response
to Plaintiffs request. For the reasons that follow, it is
recommended that Plaintiffs request be granted.
December 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed the above-captioned
complaint for damages following the Defendants unlawful
interception and broadcasting of a closed circuit,
pay-per-view boxing match on November 21, 2015. (Rec. doc.
1). After the Defendants were served with a copy of
Plaintiffs complaint (rec. docs. 4, 5) and failed to file an
answer within the delays allowed by law, Plaintiff moved for
and obtained the entry of a default against them. (Rec. docs.
6, 7). In due course, Plaintiff filed a motion for a default
judgment (rec. docs. 9, 13) and an evidentiary hearing was
held on July 19, 2017 at which no appearance was made by the
Defendants. (Rec. doc. 14). On July 27, 2017, the District
Judge granted Plaintiffs motion for default judgment and
awarded it $5, 000.00 in statutory damages and $20, 000.00 in
enhanced damages plus interest, costs, and attorneys fees
under 47 U.S.C. §605. (Rec. doc. 15). Plaintiff
ultimately filed the request that is presently before the
Court on August 16, 2017. (Rec. doc. 18). As noted above,
despite being given an opportunity to do so (rec. doc. 19),
no response or memorandum in opposition to Plaintiffs request
has been forthcoming from the Defendants.
starting point for making a determination of an appropriate
amount of attorneys fees is the lodestar calculation, which
is arrived at by multiplying the number of hours reasonably
expended on the matter by a reasonable hourly rate.
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 434, 103 S.Ct.
1933, 1939 (1983). That calculation is presumed to yield a
reasonable fee but a court can make upward or downward
adjustments to that figure based on the twelve factors set
forth in Johnson v. Georgia Hwy Express, Inc., 488
F.2d 714, 717-19 (5th Cir. 1974). Nevertheless, the lodestar
amount should be modified only in exceptional cases. City
of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 562, 112 S.Ct.
2638, 2641 (1992).
reflected by the declaration that is attached to Plaintiffs
request, its attorney expended 9.0 hours of time in
litigating this matter and in obtaining the default judgment
against the Defendants. (Rec. doc. 18-1, p. 2). The hourly
rate being sought is $250.00 per hour for an attorney with
over 12 years experience in the practice of law.
(Id.). Plaintiff also seeks 3.3 hours of paralegal
time at a rate of $100.00 per hour for a paralegal with over
three years of experience. (Id.).  Plaintiff additionally
seeks filing and service fees totaling $520.00.
Court having recently had occasion to survey appropriate
hourly rates in this market, the hourly rates sought by
Plaintiffs counsel and her paralegal in this case fall within
the range of rates that is reasonable. (See, rec.
doc. 146, pp. 9-17 in No. 10-CV-2717). See also DirecTV,
LLC v. Ertem, No. 13-CV-0487, 2015 WL 459398 at *3 (E.D.
La. Feb. 3, 2015). The Court also finds that the number of
hours that were logged by Plaintiffs counsel and her
paralegal appears reasonable under the circumstances.
See, e.g., Time Warner Cable of N.Y. City v.
Sanchez, No. 02-CV-5855, 2003 WL 21744089 (S.D. N.Y.Jul.
8, 2003) (recovery of filing fee and attorneys fees of $2,
477.50 reasonable where Plaintiff obtained default judgment
for $6, 000.00). The hours and hourly rates sought by
Plaintiffs counsel and her paralegal have not been challenged
in any way by the Defendants. Accordingly, it will be
recommended that Plaintiffs request be granted and that it be
awarded the fees and costs prayed for.
foregoing reasons, it is recommended that Plaintiffs request
be granted and that it be awarded attorneys fees in the
amount of $2, 250.00 (9.0 hours @ $250.00/hour), paralegal
fees in the amount of $330.00 (3.3 hours @ $100.00/hour), and
court costs in the amount of $520.00 ($400.00 $120.00), for
a grand total of $3, 100.00.
partys failure to file written objections to the proposed
findings, conclusions, and recommendation contained in a
magistrate judges report and recommendation within 14 days
after being served with a copy shall bar that party, except
upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the
unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions
accepted by the district court, provided that the party has
been served with notice that such consequences will result
from a failure to object. Douglass v. United States Auto.
Assoc, 79 F.3d 1415 (5th Cir. 1996)(en banc).
According to the Courts
calculations, the paralegal time that was devoted to this
matter actually totals 5.5 hours. (Rec. doc. 18-1, p. 2). As
compensation for only 3.3 hours of time is sought the Court
surmises that the other 2.2 hours of paralegal time was
Douglass referenced the
previously-applicable 10-day period for the filing of
objections. Effective December 1, 2009, 28 U.S.C.
§636(b)(1) was amended to ...