United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Fix Attorneys'
Fees (R. Doc. 119) filed on July 30, 2019. Defendant filed
its Memorandum in Opposition (R. Doc. 126) on August 6, 2019.
October 25, 2016, Sherman Mealy (“Plaintiff”)
commenced this action seeking relief under Title II of the
Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”), the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“RA”), and 42 U.S.C
§ 1983. (R. Doc. 1). Plaintiff filed this action after
his release from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
Plaintiff, who is a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair,
alleges that he was denied access to wheelchair-accessible
showers and instead forced to ask other inmates to help him
use the general population showers. Plaintiff also alleges
that he was denied various medical supplies. Defendant
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux and Defendant the City-Parish of East
Baton Rouge each filed motions to dismiss Mr. Mealy's
claims. (R. Doc. 10, 12). On July 21, 2017 those opposed
motions were denied with respect to Mr. Mealy's
constitutional claims under Section 1983, and freestanding
ADA and RA claims. (R. Doc. 41).
filed a Motion to Compel Production of Documents (R. Doc. 86)
on November 27, 2018. Therein, Plaintiff sought the
production of three “key documents.” (R. Doc. 86
at 1). Plaintiff also filed a Motion for Sanctions Pursuant
to Rule 30(d)(2) (R. Doc. 85) on November 26, 2018, seeking
sanctions arising out of a deposition taken pursuant to
Court granted Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 86)
and Motion for Sanctions (R. Doc. 85) by way of Order (R.
Doc. 116) dated July 16, 2019. Therein, the Court also
awarded Plaintiff his reasonable expenses incurred in
connection with the Motion to Compel, including
attorney's fees, as well as his reasonable expenses
incurred in connection with the Motion for Sanctions,
including attorney's fees. (R. Doc. 116 at 9, 11).
30, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Motion to Fix Attorneys'
Fees (R. Doc. 119), seeking a total of $8, 503.00 as
reasonable attorneys' fees.
Law and Analysis
district court has determined that a party is entitled to an
award of attorney's fees, as in this case, it must find
the number of hours reasonably expended on the
and the reasonable hourly rate for the attorney's
services. Wegner v. Standard Ins. Co., 129 F.3d 814,
822 (5th Cir. 1997). The court then multiplies those two
figures together to determine the “lodestar”
amount of attorney's fees. Id. The lodestar
amount is presumed to be the reasonable fee, but it may be
adjusted upward or downward after consideration of the
factors set forth in Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express,
Inc., 488 F.2d 714, 717-719 (5th Cir.
support of his request for $8, 503.00 in attorney's fees,
Plaintiff submitted an itemized breakdown of the fees
requested, noting the date, identity of person completing the
task, the hours spent, the hours sought, a description of the
task, and whether the fee was reduced or eliminated from the
request. (R. Doc. 119-2).
Reasonable Hourly Rate
requests reimbursement in the amount of $300/hour for the
work of Andrew Bizer, a partner with sixteen years of
experience, $200/hour for Garret DeReus, a partner with six
years of experience, and $100/hour for their paralegal. (R.
Doc. 119-1 at 4). Defendant responds with the suggestion that
the rate sought for the work of Mr. DeReus be reduced ...