United States District Court, D. Utah
EQUITABLE PARTNERS, L.C.; a.k.a. KIRK CAMERON, Plaintiff,
ONEWEST BANK, FSB, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING
DEFENDANT'S APPLICATION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND
matter is before the Court on Defendant OneWest Bank's
(“OneWest”) Application for Attorneys' Fees
and Costs. The Court previously awarded contractual
attorneys' fees and costs to OneWest and must now
determine the amount to be awarded. For the following
reasons, the Court will award attorneys' fees and costs
in the amount $14, 910.
September 5, 2017, after years of nonpayment on a loan,
Plaintiff filed this action to quiet title against OneWest in
state court, arguing that he did not know that OneWest was
assigned the mortgage and had not received a notice of
payment or delinquency. On October 5, 2017, the action was
removed to this Court, and OneWest moved to dismiss the
Complaint. Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint and
OneWest filed another motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).
Court granted OneWest's Motion to Dismiss on April 3,
2018, and awarded contractual attorneys' fees and costs
to OneWest pursuant to the Deed of Trust in which Plaintiff
agreed to reimburse all expenses “incurred by Lender in
collecting, enforcing or protecting Lender's rights and
remedies under this Security Instrument.” Those expenses
explicitly include “reasonable attorney's fees,
court costs, and other legal expenses.”
filed an Application for Attorneys' Fees and Costs
seeking $14, 910. However, the briefing of OneWest's
Application provided little evidence to support the
parties' proposed hourly rates. Therefore, the Court
requested additional evidence on this point. OneWest provided
the Court with additional evidence to support its fees, but
Plaintiff did not.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Utah law,  once the court determines that a party is
entitled to attorneys' fees, “it acquire[s] broad
discretion in determining what constitutes a reasonable
attorney fee under . . . the contract.” In determining a
reasonable fee, courts should answer the following questions:
1. What legal work was actually performed?
2. How much of the work performed was reasonably necessary to
adequately [defend] the matter?
3. Is the attorney's billing rate consistent with the
rates customarily charged in the locality for similar
4. Are there circumstances which require consideration of
additional factors, including those listed in the Code of
Court may also consider “the amount involved in the
case and the result attained, and the expertise and
experience of the attorneys involved.”
requests a total of $14, 505 in attorneys' fees and $405
in costs for 41.4 hours of work. According to the affidavit
and supporting documents provided by OneWest, two attorneys,
a partner, and an associate, worked on OneWest's defense.
The partner billed fourteen hours at $400 per hour, and the
associate billed 27.4 hours at $325 per hour. The costs are not
disputed, but the reasonableness of the hours ...