United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. TeilbSrg Senior United States District Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff Pure Wafer, Inc.'s
(“Pure Wafer's”) Motion for Attorneys'
Fees. (“Motion, ” Doc. 142; see also
Doc. 142-1). After reviewing the City of Prescott's (the
“City's”) Response, (Doc. 143), and Pure
Wafer's Reply, (Doc. 144), the Court now rules on the
Court previously detailed the factual and procedural
background in its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and
Permanent Injunction (the “Findings and
Conclusions”). (See Doc. 87 at 1-13). After a
bench trial, the Court found that the City violated the
Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution when it declared
that its sewage treatment plant would no longer accept
effluent discharged by Pure Wafer. (See Id. at 13-
29). Because the Court found in favor of Pure Wafer on its
Contract Clause claims, it did not reach the merits of Pure
Wafer's alternative claims for breach of contract and the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing resulting
from the parties' obligations under a Development
Agreement. (Id. at 29). The Court also granted Pure
Wafer's request for a permanent injunction, enjoining the
City from enforcing various provisions of the City's
Ordinance No. 4856-1313 (the “Ordinance”) against
Pure Wafer. (See Id. at 29-32). The Court finally
entered a final judgment in Pure Wafer's favor.
(“Judgment, ” Doc. 88).
City appealed the Findings and Conclusions as well as the
Judgment. (Doc. 95). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the
“Ninth Circuit”) affirmed-in-part and
reversed-in-part and remanded for further proceedings.
Pure Wafer Inc. v. City of Prescott, 845 F.3d 943,
959 (9th Cir. 2017). In particular, the Ninth Circuit held:
[W]hile the City prevails on its appeal of the Contract
Clause issue, judgment for Pure Wafer can be sustained on the
alternative ground that the City has breached its contract
with Pure Wafer. We leave it for the district court on remand
to decide the appropriate remedy.
Id. at 958. The Ninth Circuit also affirmed the
Court's judgment on the City's counterclaim.
Id. at 958 n.14.
the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion, Pure Wafer filed its
motion for attorneys' fees with the Ninth Circuit. (Doc.
142-1 at 10). The Ninth Circuit subsequently filed an order
remanding Pure Wafer's motion for attorneys' fees to
this Court.(Doc. 136). The Court then issued an order
allowing the parties to refile the same pleadings regarding
the motion for attorneys' fees that they filed with the
Ninth Circuit. (Doc. 140).
Circuit Rule 39-1.6 governs the procedure for attorneys'
fees motions on appeal. This rule sets forth the required
content of the memorandum in support of the motion, the
necessary supporting documentation-including an itemized
statement of fees, a showing that the hourly rates are
legally justified, and an affidavit attesting to the accuracy
of the information-and the format and description
requirements of the itemized statement. 9th Cir. R. 39-1. The
parties' Development Agreement provides that “the
prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable
attorneys' fees and all reasonable costs, expenses, and
disbursements in connection with such action.” (Doc.
1-1 at 16).
Wafer seeks an award of $87, 548.12 in attorneys' fees
and an additional $8, 554.25 in other litigation costs and
expenses, for a total of $96, 102.37. (Doc. 142-1 at 4). The
City argues that Pure Wafer is not entitled to these fees,
costs, and expenses because: (1) Pure Wafer is not the
prevailing party; (2) Pure Wafer seeks costs unrelated to the
appeal, improperly seeks costs, and seeks costs that are
unreasonable; (3) Pure Wafer's request is a procedurally
deficient collateral attack on the Court's determination
that costs are not appropriate in this case; and (4) Pure
Wafer's requested attorneys' fees are unreasonable
and should be reduced by at least $32, 899.37, if awarded.
(See Doc. 143 at 2-7).
City argues that Pure Wafer is not the prevailing party
because the matter was remanded to this Court and some of
Pure Wafer's arguments were rejected on appeal. (Doc.
134-1 at 3). The Ninth Circuit held “judgment for Pure
Wafer can be sustained on the alternative ground that the
City has breached its contract with Pure Wafer.”
Pure Wafer, 845 F.3d at 959. Although, the Ninth
Circuit noted that the City prevailed on its Contract Clause
argument, Pure Wafer is ultimately the ...