United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Raner C. Collins Senior United States District
before the Court is Adrienne Outland's Motion to Amend
Judgment (Doc. 40) and Motion for Award of Attorneys'
Fees (Doc. 41.) The Court will grant the Motion to Amend the
Court's default judgment and grant the Motion for
Attorneys' Fees at a rate of $325.00 an hour.
to federal statute,
Any employer who violates the provisions of [minimum wage
law] and [overtime law] shall be liable to the employee . . .
affected in the amount of their unpaid minimum wages, or
their unpaid overtime compensation, as the case may be, and
in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages. . . .
The court in such action shall, in addition to any judgment
awarded to the plaintiff . . ., allow a reasonable
attorney's fee to be paid by the defendant, and costs of
29 U.S.C. § 216(b). For overtime compensation, an
employee who works in excess of forty hours in a workweek
should receive “compensation . . . at a rate not less
than one and one-half times the regular rate at which [s]he
is employed.” 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(2)(C).
Plaintiff worked for Defendants for thirteen months between
June 2016 to July 2017, but was incorrectly classified as an
independent contractor. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 49.) Due to the
error, Plaintiff was not paid minimum wage or overtime for
her work, which resulted in $7, 110.00 in unpaid wages. (Doc.
40 at 2.) In addition, Plaintiff alleged she is owed an
additional equal amount of $7, 110.00 in liquidated damages.
Id. Default judgment was entered against Defendants
Arizona Movers & Storage and Hashem Abouzeid on March 1,
2019, but without a specific monetary amount to be awarded to
Plaintiff. (Doc. 38.) The Court agrees with Plaintiff's
calculations and will award her default judgment in the
amount of $14, 220.00 for unpaid overtime, minimum wage, and
the FLSA, a prevailing party may be afforded reasonable
attorney's fees and costs. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b);
see also 42 U.S.C. § 1988. To gage the
reasonableness of an attorney's fees, the fee award is
based on the “lodestar, ” which is “the
number of hours reasonably expended on the litigation”
multiplied by “a reasonable hourly rate.”
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983).
Under LRCiv 54.2(c)(3), factors the court may consider when
determining the reasonableness of the amount requested
include: (a) time and labor required; (b) difficulty of the
issues; (c) skill needed; (d) the customary fee in similar
litigation; (e) whether fee is fixed or contingent; (f) the
results obtained; (g) awards in similar actions; and (h)
anything else deemed appropriate. Reasonable attorney rates
are not simply what an attorney charged a client but are
determined “by the rate prevailing in the community for
similar work performed by attorneys of comparable skill,
experience, and reputation.” Schwarz v. Sec'y
of Health & Human Servs., 73 F.3d 895, 908 (9th Cir.
attorneys were hired on a contingency basis with a
Representation Agreement that included a flat rate of $325.00
per hour. (Ex. A, Doc. 41-1.) In addition, counsel concedes
that this district recently determined that $325.00 per hour
was a reasonable rate. (Doc. 41 at 5.) However, because
Defendants Arizona Movers & Storage and Hashem Abouzeid
have refused to defend this matter, the time, labor, and
complexity of this case is minimal. In addition, while
counsel contends that a higher rate per hour is reasonable,
this higher rate was decided in the Northern District of
Ohio, and the Court must consider the reasonable rate
according to the state in which the claim is being litigated.
See Davis v. Mason Cty., 927 F.2d 1473, 1488 (9th
Cir. 1991). Counsel has sufficiently shown that $325.00 an
hour is a reasonable rate for both attorneys in the state of
Arizona. Counsel has documented 37.9 hours of work; at
$325.00 an hour, the total amount equals $12, 317.50. Adding
counsels' out of pocket costs of $679.50 results in
attorneys' fees in the amount of $12, 997.00.
IT IS ORDERED:
Plaintiffs Motion to Amend [Default] Judgment is GRANTED.
Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiff Adrienne Outland
and against Defendants Arizona Movers & Storage, Inc. and
Hashem Abouzeid for unpaid wages in the amount of $7, 110.00.
Judgment is entered in favor of Plaintiff and against
Defendants Arizona Movers & Storage, Inc. and Hashem
Abouzeid for liquidated damages in the amount of ...