United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
E. STEELE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on plaintiff's Verified
Application for Attorney's Fees, costs, Expert Witness
Fees and Litigation Expenses (Doc. #28) filed on April 13,
2016. Defendant filed a Response (Doc. #29) on April 27,
2016. Plaintiff filed a Reply in Support of Her Verified
Application (Doc. #32) with leave of Court. (Doc. #31.) On
May 24, 2016, plaintiff filed a Verified Supplemental
Application (Doc. #33) seeking additional fees for the filing
of the reply and the supplemental application. Defendant
filed a Response (Doc. #34).
preliminary matter, plaintiff sought leave to file a 5 page
reply to address the defendant's response, and the
e-mails submitted with defendant's response, to
“furnish the Court with the legal authorities rejecting
the Defendant's claims”, and to provide a more
complete picture of discussions between counsel. (Doc. #30.)
The Magistrate Judge granted the motion and specifically
permitted a reply “of no more than five (5)
pages.” (Doc. #31, p. 2, § 2.) On May 24, 2016,
plaintiff filed a Reply (Doc. #32) that was in fact 6 pages
in length, and also attached e-mails in support. The reply
will be stricken and the 6 pages will not be considered based
on Plaintiff's failure to comply with the granted page
the e-mails submitted by both counsel, the Court finds that
they neither help nor hinder the decision on what constitutes
a reasonable fee. Both attorneys engaged in normal tactics in
support of their respective positions to either compel a
quicker settlement or to avoid discovery in hopes of a less
expensive settlement. In the end, all parties agreed that
there were barriers to access that needed to be addressed,
and the only current issue before the Court is whether the
attorney fees, costs, and expenses sought are reasonable.
24, 2016, plaintiff filed a Verified Supplemental Application
(Doc. #33) seeking fees and expenses expended subsequent to
the original filing, and specifically related to the reply.
As the Court finds that the reply should be stricken, the
Court will deny this supplemental application for an
extraordinary $4, 704.00 in its entirety.
initiated her Complaint (Doc. #1) on October 9, 2015, and
defendant filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses (doc. #10)
on November 9, 2015. On February 29, 2016, plaintiff filed an
Amended Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. #20), however the
parties reached a settlement before the response was due.
(Doc. #25.) On April 1, 2016, the Court issued an Order (Doc.
#26) granting the parties' Joint Motion for Approval of
Consent Decree and Dismissal of Case With Prejudice (Doc.
#25), approving the parties' attached proposed Consent
Decree, and directing the entry of judgment. Judgment (Doc.
#27) was entered on April 4, 2016, and the parties agreed in
the approved Consent Decree (Doc. #27-1) as follows:
Defendant shall pay Plaintiff's counsel, Thomas
B. Bacon, Plaintiff's attorneys' fees,
litigation expenses, expert fees, re-inspection fees and
costs incurred in this matter. The amounts to be paid shall
be established by the Court.
(Doc. #27-1, p. 2, ¶ 2) (emphasis added). Plaintiff now
seeks fees, costs, and expenses as the prevailing
party under 42 U.S.C. § 12205, and
Plaintiff's entitlement to same is undisputed. Plaintiff
seeks $13, 272.00 for both Mr. Bacon and Mr. Cullen's
fees based on an hourly rate of $420.00 per hour; paralegal
fees of $149.50 based on an hourly rate of $115; $461.54 for
costs and expenses; $1, 300 for expert expenses; and $1, 000
for the re-inspection fee for a total of $16, 183.04, not
including the additional funds requested in the supplemental
reasonable attorney fee is calculated by multiplying the
number of hours reasonably expended by the reasonable hourly
rate. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433
(1983). The party seeking an award of fees should submit
adequate documentation of hours and rates in support, or the
award may be reduced. Id. In determining the
reasonable amount of hours, the Court may conduct an
hour-by-hour analysis or it may reduce the requested hours
across the board, Bivins v. Wrap It Up, Inc., 548
F.3d 1348, 1350 (11th Cir. 2008), and the Court must
eliminate excessive, unnecessary, and redundant hours,
Norman v. Housing Auth. Of Montgomery, 836 F.2d
1292, 1301-02 (11th Cir. 1988).
defendant does not object to the request for fees by Mr.
Cullen, counsel of record in this case, the Consent Decree
signed by both parties, approved by the Court, and attached
to the judgment only provides for payment of attorney fees to
Mr. Bacon. Therefore, the motion will be denied without
prejudice as to all fees incurred on behalf of Mr. Cullen.