United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
JOHNNY R. PHILLIPS, et al., Plaintiffs,
WILLIAM FITZGERALD, et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. CLIFFORD SHIRLEY, Jr., Magistrate Judge.
This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.
Now before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs [Doc. 11]. For the reasons stated herein, the undersigned will RECOMMEND that this motion be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
The procedural posture of this case is reviewed in the Chief District Judge's Memorandum Opinion & Order [Doc. 9], entered October 28, 2014. In the Memorandum Opinion & Order, the Chief District Judge granted the Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment and ordered that the Plaintiffs recover from the Defendants the sum of $1, 055, 120.00, plus reasonable attorneys' fees, costs, and post-judgment interest. The Chief District Judge referred the issue of the amount of the attorneys' fees to the undersigned for report and recommendation.
On October 30, 2014, the undersigned entered an Order directing the Plaintiffs to file a petition for attorneys' fees and costs, with any supporting documentation, on or before November 14, 2014. The Defendants were afforded up to and including December 15, 2014, in which to respond to the petition. The Plaintiffs filed their petition on November 14, 2014. [Doc. 11]. The Defendants did not file a timely response or move the Court to afford additional time for them to respond.
II. POSITION OF THE PARTIES
Plaintiffs move the Court to award attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $10, 706.57, representing: (a) $7, 894.73 in fees and expenses through the filing of the Motion for Default Judgment on September 15, 2015, along with $311.84 in fees associated with filing the Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs; and (b) $2, 500 in fees and expenses that Plaintiffs posit are anticipated to be incurred in connection with attempting collection. In support of their request, the Plaintiffs have submitted the Affidavit of W. Allen McDonald [Doc. 11-1] and the Affidavit of J. Thomas Jones [Doc. 11-2].
The Defendants have not responded in opposition to the Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs, and their time for doing so expired over sixty days ago.
The Court will address the issues presented by the Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs in turn.
A. Lack of Timely Opposition
The Defendants were afforded approximately thirty days in which to respond to the Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs. The Defendants' time for responding expired on December 15, 2014. The Defendants did not file a response within the time allotted, nor did they move the Court to extend their time for responding. In excess of sixty days have expired since the Defendants' response time expired, and the Defendants have failed to file anything with the Court indicating opposition to the Plaintiffs' request.
The Court may treat the Defendants' lack of timely response to the Plaintiffs' motion as acquiescence to the relief sought by the Plaintiff. See E.D. Tenn. L.R. 7.2. The Plaintiffs' motion could be granted on this basis alone. Nonetheless, and because the parties' agreement provides for " reasonable attorney's fees, " [Doc. 11 at 1 (emphasis ...