United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM OPINION
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's
Fees and Plaintiff's Motion to Ascertain Status,
requesting this Court to award attorney fees under 15. U.S.C.
§ 1640(a)(3) and for status on Plaintiff's Motion
for Attorney Fees. For the reasons provided below, the Court
GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for
Attorney's Fees and STRIKES for mootness
Plaintiff's Motion to Ascertain Status.
September of 2015, Plaintiff entered into an agreement with
the Defendant to purchase a Chevrolet Cobalt. (Doc. No. 31 at
1). Plaintiff could not afford to pay the whole purchase
price, so Defendant sold the car to Plaintiff on credit at
¶ 22% interest, and Plaintiff agreed to repay the loan
in forty-one payments. (Id.). In accordance with the
Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et
seq. (“TILA”), Defendant provided Plaintiff
a disclosure statement that included a disclosure of payments
scheduled for Plaintiff to repay toward the loan.
(Id.). While the schedule provided due dates for the
Plaintiff's payments, it did not provide a due date for
the final payment. See 15 U.S.C. §1638(a)(6).
Plaintiff filed an action on April 13, 2016, under 15 U.S.C.
§1638(a)(6), on the sole claim that Defendant failed to
disclose the due date for the final payment in violation of
the TILA. (Doc. No. 31 at 2).
25, 2017, this Court granted Plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment due to Defendant's failure to respond to
Plaintiff's motion and failure to respond to the
Court's Order to show cause. (Doc. No. 34 at 1). This
Court awarded Plaintiff $1, 994.92 in statutory damages in
accordance with 15 U.S.C. §1640(a)(2)(A)(i).
(Id.). Plaintiff now requests attorney's fees
and costs in the amount of $12, 094.00. (Id.).
ATTORNEY FEES UNDER TILA
TILA provides in part:
[A] creditor who fails to comply with any requirements
imposed under this part, . . . with respect to any person is
liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of- (3)
in the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing
liability. . . the costs of the action, together with
reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court. . .
15 U.S.C. §1640(a)(3).
provides for a successful claimant to recover reasonable
attorney's fees as a separate and distinct category from
actual damages. Purtle v. Eldridge Auto Sales, Inc.,
91 F.3d 797, 802 (6th Cir. 1996). Reasonable attorney's
fees are not limited by the amount of a plaintiff's
recovery. Id. Since the statue does not explain the
meaning of “reasonable” fee, the determination of
attorney's fees is in the discretion of the Courts.
Perdue v. Kenny A. ex. Rel. Winn, 559 U.S. 542
(2010). “The judge's discretion is not unlimited.
It is essential that the judge provide a reasonably specific
explanation for all aspects of a fee determination, including
any award of an enhancement.” Perdue, 559 U.S.
use the lodestar amount, multiplying the number of hours
reasonably expended on litigation by the reasonable hourly
rate, to calculate reasonable attorney's fees. Smith
v. Rock-Tenn Services, Inc., 2015 WL 13187062, at *1
(M.D. Tenn. Aug. 18, 2015). While there is a presumption that
the lodestar figure represents a reasonable fee, district
courts may consider other factors to determine whether the
fee is reasonable. Six L's Packing Co. Inc. v. James
Erica Beale, 2014 WL 12577348, at *3 (M.D. Tenn. May 28,
2014). Courts look to the degree of success obtained to
determine reasonableness of a fee. Cramblit v.
Fikse, 33 F.3d 633 (6th Cir. 1994); Derry v. Buffalo
& Assoc., PLC, 2014 WL 4450146 (E.D. Tenn. Sept. 10,
2014). In some circumstances, after considering the amount
and nature of damages awarded, a court may lower an award of
fees. Cramblit, 33 F.3d at 635 (citing Citizens
Against Tax Waste v. Westerville City School, 985 F.2d
255, 258 (6th Cir. 1993)).
Reasonableness of Hourly Rate
district court has broad discretion to determine what
constitutes a reasonable hourly rate for an attorney.”
Wayne v. Village of Sebring,36 F.3d 517, 533 (6th
Cir.1994). The Court has broad discretion and should use the
“prevailing market rate in the relevant
community” to calculate a reasonable hourly rate.
Adcock-Ladd v. Secretary of Treasury, 227 F.3d 343,
350 (6th Cir. 2014). The prevailing market rate is defined as
“the rate that lawyers of comparable skill and