The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
The Court has before it a motion for attorney fees filed by plaintiffs, seeking $9,920 in fees from defendant. The motion was filed and served on December 17, 2012, and there has been no timely response -- or any response at all -- filed by defendant.
In an earlier filed Order, the Court found that a discovery dispute arose between the parties "because defense counsel failed to communicate with plaintiffs' counsel, and has either failed to file discovery responses or filed them late." See Order (Dkt. No. 28). For example, plaintiffs filed their initial disclosures on September 7, 2012, but defendants failed to respond with their own initial disclosures. Two months passed, and despite repeated attempts to contact defense counsel by plaintiffs'counsel, defense counsel failed to respond. This, and other discovery failures by the defense, prompted plaintiffs to initiate the Court's protocol for resolving discovery disputes and seek a mediation with the Court before filing any motion to compel. Following that mediation session, the Court issued its Order, set forth above, finding that defense counsel had caused the discovery dispute by failing to communicate and failing to file discovery responses, and authorized plaintiffs to file this motion for attorney fees.
The fees sought by plaintiffs were incurred by them in an attempt to compel defendant to comply with its discovery obligations. The hourly rate and the total hours charged are both reasonable. There is no showing that the discovery failures by the defense counsel were justified or that other circumstances would make an award unjust. Accordingly, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5), (c) & (d), the Court will grant the motion for attorney fees.
In accordance with the Memorandum Decision set forth above,
NOW THEREFORE IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that the motion for attorney fees (docket no. 30) is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that plaintiffs shall have from defendant the sum of $9,920 representing an award of attorney fees.
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