United States District Court, D. Arizona
DOMINIC W. LANZA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendants' application for
attorneys' fees (Doc. 60), which both sets of
Plaintiff's attorneys oppose (Docs. 61, 62). For the
following reasons, the application will be granted in part
and the Court will award $2, 041 in fees.
case was initiated in April 2018. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff is
represented by two law firms: (1) Fowler St. Clair, PLLC
(“the Fowler Firm”) and (2) Wilenchik &
Bartness PC (“the Wilenchik Firm”) (collectively,
early as June 2018, Defendants began raising concerns about
the sufficiency of Plaintiff's disclosures. (Doc. 44 at
5-6 [June 29, 2018 letter from Defendants to Plaintiff].)
October 26, 2018, Defendants filed a 15-page motion for
judgment on the pleadings, seeking dismissal of all of
Plaintiff's claims except Plaintiff's malicious
prosecution claim stemming from his May 9, 2017 acquittal.
(Doc. 23 at 1.) On November 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed a
2-page response, stipulating to dismissal of all counts
except Count 1 (42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim) and Count 3
(malicious prosecution), specifying that the claims were
based on both the 2015 trial and the 2017 trial. (Doc. 30 at
January 9, 2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part
the motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. 34.) Based on
the concessions and omissions in Plaintiff's response,
the Court dismissed Counts 2, 4, and 5, dismissed Chief St.
John as a party, and limited Plaintiff's theory in Count
1 to a malicious-prosecution theory. (Id. at 4.)
March 13, 2019, Defendants provided a detailed,
single-spaced, 12-page letter to Plaintiff's counsel that
identified an array of deficiencies in Plaintiff's
disclosures and interrogatory responses. (Doc. 44 at 9-20.)
The letter began by stating that Defendants had “been
pursuing Plaintiff to provide the factual and legal bases of
his claims since June 2018, after receipt of Plaintiff's
underwhelming and insufficient [MIDP] responses. Over many
months, [Defendants had] repeatedly attempted to elicit
responses from lawyers representing Plaintiff regarding the
lack of information that Plaintiff has provided to support
his claims.” (Id. at 9-10.) The letter went on
to note, among other things, that (1) Plaintiff still had not
identified any factual support for his allegation that
Defendants had targeted him based on his race (id.
at 11), (2) Plaintiff still had not identified any factual
support for his allegation that Defendants followed a
custom/practice of arresting individuals without probable
cause based on race (id. at 12), (3) Plaintiff still
had not identified any factual support for his allegation
that the Glendale Police Chief failed to follow state and
federal standards for hiring, training, and supervising
officers (id. at 13), and (4) although
Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim was premised on
the allegation that Defendants had “tampered with the
confrontation call, ” Plaintiff still had not
identified any facts supporting this contention (id.
March 20, 2019, Plaintiff's counsel called Defendants to
state they were working on supplementing discovery. (Doc. 44
at 22.) However, Plaintiff did not subsequently serve any
supplemental discovery responses or interrogatory responses.
(Id. at 2.)
March 29, 2019, Defendants sent Plaintiff's counsel an
email that, in part, stated:
[Y]ou have never provided the simplest things-like facts that
support Plaintiff's claims-not in the Notice of Claim,
not in the MIDP that I have been asking that you supplement
since June 2018 and that you pledged to supplement on August
28, 2018 at the Rule 16 Conference, and not in response to
written discovery. Gentlemen this is completely unreasonable.
I think it is beyond time to file a joint memorandum with the
Court as we have reached an impasse . . . .
(Doc. 44 at 24.) Plaintiff's counsel did not bother to
respond. (Doc. 44 at 2, 31.)
April 25, 2019, nearly a month later, Defendants prepared a
written summary of the dispute and emailed the summary to
Plaintiff's counsel so they could insert a summary of
Plaintiff's position. (Id.) Plaintiff's
counsel ignored this request, too.
April 29, 2019, Defendants filed a memorandum informing the
Court of the ...