United States District Court, D. Idaho
CITIZENS ALLIED FOR INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
THOMAS M. SCHULTZ, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge
the Court is Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Award of Fees
and to Extend the Time in Which to File. Dkt. 55. The Court
previously denied Plaintiffs' prior motions for fees and
for an extension of time to file without prejudice. Dkt. 54.
Plaintiffs seek attorneys fees in the amount of $93, 450 and
costs in the amount of $16, 110.20. The Court GRANTS
Plaintiffs' Motion but will reduce the attorney fee award
to $91, 050. Additionally, the Court will award costs in the
amount of $228.43.
The Court Will Excuse Plaintiffs' Counsel's Late
was entered in Plaintiffs favor in this case on August 13,
2018. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
54(d)(2)(ii), Plaintiffs' Counsel's (hereinafter
“Piotrowski”) fee motion and bill of taxable
costs were due “no later than 14 days after the entry
of judgment, ” i.e. on August 27,
2018. Piotrowski filed his fee motion and bill
of taxable costs two days late on August 29, 2018. Dkt 39;
Dkt. 40. Simultaneously, Piotrowski filed a motion for
extension of time to file bill of taxable costs and motion
for fees in which he sought retroactive approval of his
tardiness. Dkt. 38.
Parties agree that Piotrowski's tardiness may be excused
if the Court determines that there is “good
cause” to extend the deadline due to Piotrowski's
“excusable neglect.” Fed. Rule Civ. Pro. 6(b)(1).
Generally, Rule 6(b)(1), “like all the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, is to be liberally construed to effectuate
the general purpose of seeing that cases are tried on the
merits.” Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc.,
624 F.3d 1253, 1258-59 (9th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation
marks, citation, and alteration omitted). More specifically,
in determining whether neglect is excusable, the Court
considers four factors: “(1) the danger of prejudice to
the opposing party; (2) the length of the delay and its
potential impact on the proceedings; (3) the reason for the
delay; and (4) whether the movant acted in good faith.”
Bateman v. U.S. Postal Serv., 231 F.3d 1220, 1223-24
(9th Cir. 2000).
the State's brief is silent-and by extension
concedes-that (1) there was no prejudice to the State created
by Piotrowski's delay, (2) the two-day delay was
de minimis, and (3) Piotrowski's delay
does not have the odor of bad faith. The State relies solely
on the third factor, combined with Piotrowski's admission
that he miscalculated the deadline, to argue that good cause
is not present here. That argument is insufficient.
one factor weighing in the State's favor is not enough to
overcome the other three factors. Second, the State's
argument that granting Piotrowski an extension would equate
to a finding that “[b]eing too busy to follow the Rules
… [is] an acceptable showing of good cause” is a
red herring. Dkt. 56 at 6. Piotrowski, like all human beings,
made a mistake. That mistake was “excusable neglect,
” particularly because Piotrowski quickly remedied the
error when he discovered it. Weighing each of the four
factors outlined in Bateman, “good
cause” exists to extend the excuse Piotrowski's
untimely filing, and the Court will do so.
The Court Will Grant Plaintiffs' Request for Fees and
Costs in a Reduced Amount
seek attorneys fees in the amount of $93, 450 and costs in
the amount of $16, 110.20. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1988(b), a court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs
to “the prevailing party” in an action to enforce
a provision of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs' claims
seeking to protect their federal Due Process rights through
injunctive relief were appropriately raised under §
1983. See Matsuda v. City & County of
Honolulu, 512 F.3d 1148, 1156 (9th Cir. 2008). There is
no dispute that Plaintiffs were the prevailing party.
establishing that a plaintiff is entitled to attorneys fees,
the Court must calculate a reasonable fee award. Hensley
v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 434 (1983).
the “lodestar figure, ” which multiplies the
number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation by a
reasonable hourly rate, determines the amount of the award.
Id. “There is a strong presumption that the
lodestar figure represents a reasonable fee. Only in rare
instances should the lodestar figure be adjusted on the basis
of other considerations.” Morales v. City of San
Rafael, 96 F.3d 359, 363 n.8 (9th Cir. 1996).
The Court Will Grant Plaintiffs' Request for Costs ...