On 06/15/2018 DWAIN LAMMEY filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against FARHAD YAGHOUBI. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JON R. TAKASUGI. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.
Disposed - Judgment Entered
JON R. TAKASUGI
Los Angeles, CA 90035
15720 Ventura Blvd Ste 228
Encino, CA 91436
7/21/2021: Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest - Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest
3/6/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)
3/16/2020: Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)
3/16/2020: Notice of Motion - Notice of Motion
12/30/2020: Judgment - Judgment - Default Judgment By Court - After Court Trial - 12/30/2020 amended for Plaintiff Dwain Lammey against Defendant Farhad Yaghoubi.
12/31/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for [Judgment - Default Judgment By Court - After Court Trial - 12/30/2020 amended for Plaintiff Dwain Lammey against Defendant Farhad Yaghoubi.]
1/8/2021: Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims - Abstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims
12/13/2019: Minute Order - Minute Order (Non-Jury Trial)
9/5/2018: Proof of Personal Service
8/15/2018: Order on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court)
6/15/2018: Summons - on Complaint
6/15/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet
6/15/2018: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case
DocketMemorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest; Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff); As to: Farhad Yaghoubi (Defendant); Costs: 650.00; Interest: 396.82; Service Date: 07/21/2021Read MoreRead Less
DocketAbstract of Judgment - Civil and Small Claims; Issued by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCertificate of Mailing for [Judgment - Default Judgment By Court - After Court Trial - 12/30/2020 amended for Plaintiff Dwain Lammey against Defendant Farhad Yaghoubi.]; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketUpdated -- Judgment amended on 12/30/2020 ; Costs: 285.00 ; Status Date changed from 03/06/2020 to 12/30/2020 ; Installment Details: ; Other Information: ; Attorney Fees: 2,850.00 ; Verdict Information: ; Status changed from Not Entered (pending submission of proposed judgment) to AmendedRead MoreRead Less
DocketJudgment - Default Judgment By Court - After Court Trial - 12/30/2020 amended for Plaintiff Dwain Lammey against Defendant Farhad Yaghoubi. Signed and Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff); As to: Farhad Yaghoubi (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)Read MoreRead Less
DocketHearing on Motion for Attorney Fees scheduled for 07/27/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 updated: Result Date to 07/27/2020; Result Type to HeldRead MoreRead Less
DocketMemorandum of Costs (Summary); Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff); As to: Farhad Yaghoubi (Defendant); Total Costs: 285.00Read MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Motion; Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketHearing on Motion for Attorney Fees scheduled for 07/27/2020 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Farhad Yaghoubi (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCase assigned to Hon. Jon R. Takasugi in Department 94 Stanley Mosk CourthouseRead MoreRead Less
DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/13/2019 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 06/18/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94Read MoreRead Less
DocketComplaint; Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff); As to: Farhad Yaghoubi (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketOrder on Court Fee Waiver (Superior Court); Signed and Filed by: Clerk; As to: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Dwain Lammey (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: 18STLC08576 Hearing Date: July 27, 2020 Dept: 25
HEARING DATE: Mon., July 27, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25
CASE NAME: Lammey v. Yaghoubi COMPL. FILED: 06-15-18
CASE NUMBER: 18STLC08576 TRIAL: 03-06-20
PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES
MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Dwain Lammey
RESP. PARTY: None
MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES
(Civ. Code, § 52)
Plaintiff Dwain Lammey’s Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees is GRANTED in the amount of $2,850.00.
[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK
[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK
[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK
OPPOSITION: None filed as of July 24, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None
REPLY: None filed as of July 24, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None
On June 15, 2020, Plaintiff Dwain Lammey (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act against Defendant Farhad Yaghoubi (“Defendant”). On August 15, 2018, Defendant filed an Answer, in pro per.
A non-jury trial took place on March 6, 2020, but Defendant failed to appear. (3/6/20 Minute Order.) Counsel for Plaintiff proceeded with trial by way of declaration and submitted one exhibit, a certified grant deed, for the Court’s review. (Id.) The Court then found that judgment was to be entered for Plaintiff and against Defendant in the principal amount of $4,000.00 plus costs to be determined by a memorandum of costs. (Id.) Plaintiff was ordered to give notice of the order and to file a proposed judgment and a memorandum of costs. (Id.)
On March 16, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition has been filed.
Legal Standard & Discussion
“Whoever denies, aids or incites a denial, or makes any discrimination or distinction contrary to Section 51, 51.5, or 51.6, is liable for each and every offense for the actual damages, and any amount that may be determined by a jury, or a court sitting without a jury, up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damage but in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000), and any attorney’s fees that may be determined by the court in addition thereto, suffered by any person denied the rights provided in Section 51, 51.5, or 51.6.” (Civ. Code, § 52, subd. (a).) “The Legislature’s use of ‘may’ in the statutory damage and attorney fees context does not denote trial court discretion over entitlement to either. It merely recognizes trial court discretion over the amount of both.” (Engel v. Worthington (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 628, 633.) “[T]he Legislature intended an award to be mandatory.” (Id. p. 635.) “Under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the plaintiff can recover attorney’s fees if he or she prevails, but the defendant cannot. [Citation.]” (Molski v. Arciero Wine Group (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 786, 791.)
As noted above, following a non-jury trial, the Court found that Plaintiff was entitled to a judgment entered in his favor. (3/6/20 Minute Order.) Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.
B. Reasonableness of Request
The fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the “lodestar” method, i.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate. A computation of time spent on a case and the reasonable value of that time is fundamental to a determination of an appropriate attorney’s fee award. The lodestar figure may then be adjusted, based on factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair market value for the legal services provided. (Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49.) Such an approach anchors the trial court’s analysis to an objective determination of the value of the attorney’s services, ensuring that the amount awarded is not arbitrary. (Id., at p. 48, fn. 23.)
As explained in Graciano v. Robinson Ford Sales, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 140, 154:
“[T]he lodestar is the basic fee for comparable legal services in the community; it may be adjusted by the court based on factors including, as relevant herein, (1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2) the skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of the litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, (4) the contingent nature of the fee award. [Citation.] The purpose of such adjustment is to fix a fee at the fair market value for the particular action. In effect, the court determines, retrospectively, whether the litigation involved a contingent risk or required extraordinary legal skill justifying augmentation of the unadorned lodestar in order to approximate the fair market rate for such services. . . . This approach anchors the trial court's analysis to an objective determination of the value of the attorney's services, ensuring that the amount awarded is not arbitrary.” [Internal citations and internal quotation marks omitted.]
(Graciano v. Robinson Ford Sales, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 140.) “It is well established that the determination of what constitutes reasonable attorney fees is committed to the discretion of the trial court, whose decision cannot be reversed in the absence of an abuse of discretion. [Citations.] The value of legal services performed in a case is a matter in which the trial court has its own expertise. . . . The trial court makes its determination after consideration of a number of factors, including the nature of the litigation, its difficulty, the amount involved, the skill required in its handling, the skill employed, the attention given, the success or failure, and other circumstances in the case. [Citations.]” (Melnyk v. Robledo (1976) 64 Cal.App.3d 618, 623-624.)
No specific findings reflecting the court’s calculations are required. The record need only show that the attorney fees were awarded according to the “lodestar” or “touchstone” approach. The court’s focus in evaluating the facts should be to provide a fee award reasonably designed to completely compensate attorneys for the services provided. The starting point for this determination is the attorney’s time records. (Horsford v. Board of Trustees of Calif. State Univ. (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 359, 395-397 [verified time records entitled to credence absent clear indication they are erroneous].) However, California case law permits fee awards in the absence of detailed time sheets. (Sommers v. Erb (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1644, 1651; Dunk v. Ford Motor Co. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1794, 1810; Nightingale v. Hyundai Motor America (1994) 31 Cal.App.4th 99, 103.) An experienced trial judge is in a position to assess the value of the professional services rendered in his or her court. (Id.; Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49; Wershba v. Apple Computer, Inc. (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 224, 255.)
Here, Plaintiff seeks an award of $3,800.00 in attorney’s fees based on eight (8) hours of attorney time billed at $475.00 an hour. (Mot., p. 3:2-6; Mehrban Decl., ¶ 2.) Plaintiff’s counsel did not submit a ledger but did provide a breakdown in his declaration which includes 1 hour for client intake, research and preparing complaint package, .5 hours to draft client declaration, 1 hour for trial preparation, 2 hours to attend trial including wait and travel time, 1 hour to draft the instant Motion, an estimated 1.5 hours to attend the hearing for this Motion, and ten .1 hour entries for tasks such as drafting a letter to the sheriff, reviewing a sheriff’s proof of service, meeting with Plaintiff on two occasions, drafting two notices, reviewing Defendant’s Answer, and conferring with an expert on two occasions. (Id. at ¶ 3.)
The Court declines to award 1.5 hours to attend the hearing on this Motion as parties are currently encouraged to appear via CourtCall, which requires no travel or waiting time. The Court also notes that Plaintiff’s attorney, Mr. Mehrban, frequently appears before this Court and has filed numerous complaints like this case under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, often using the same templates with minor modifications. As a result, he has developed a proficiency in handling these types of actions. The issue presented in this action is not novel or overly complex (See Compl.), the litigation history is brief, and the trial was uncontested.
For all of these reasons, the Court finds attorney’s fees of $2,850.00 based on 6 hours of attorney billed at $475.00 per hour, to be reasonable.
Conclusion & Order
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Dwain Lammey’s Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees is GRANTED in the amount of $2,850.00.
Moving party is ordered to give notice.