This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 09/26/2021 at 03:03:33 (UTC).

JULIO MARTINEZ VS ELIGIO GONZALEZ, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 08/28/2018 JULIO MARTINEZ filed a Civil Right - Other Civil Right lawsuit against ELIGIO GONZALEZ. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is WENDY CHANG. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0990

  • Filing Date:

    08/28/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Judgment Entered

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

WENDY CHANG

 

Party Details

Appellants and Plaintiffs

MARTINEZ JULIO

LAW OFFICES OF MORSE MEHRBAN A.P.C.

Defendants and Respondents

GONZALEZ ISABEL M.

GONZALEZ ELIGIO

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

MEHRBAN MORSE

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

9/21/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Court Order)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

10/15/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

11/16/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed - Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed "X"

11/19/2020: Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed - Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed "X"

Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal X

11/25/2020: Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal X

Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal 11/19/20 BV033414

1/19/2021: Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal 11/19/20 BV033414

Appeal - Remittitur - Other - Appeal - Remittitur - Other Reverse judgment for plaintiff costs. Other respects of judgment is affirmed. BV033066

2/11/2020: Appeal - Remittitur - Other - Appeal - Remittitur - Other Reverse judgment for plaintiff costs. Other respects of judgment is affirmed. BV033066

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

2/20/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Notice of Motion - Notice of Motion

2/20/2020: Notice of Motion - Notice of Motion

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

12/20/2018: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Judgment - Judgment

2/8/2019: Judgment - Judgment

Notice (name extension) - notice of filing of notice of appeal

3/27/2019: Notice (name extension) - notice of filing of notice of appeal

Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal

3/27/2019: Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal

Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal BV033066

4/29/2019: Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal - Appeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal BV033066

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

11/16/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

11/29/2018: Proof of Service by Substituted Service - Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

11/29/2018: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Civil Case Cover Sheet

8/28/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet

21 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/11/2021
  • DocketAppeal Record Delivered; Issued by: Clerk

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  • 02/10/2021
  • DocketAppeal - Original Clerk's Transcript 1 - 5 Volumes Certified 1 VOL 38 PAGES; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketAppeal - Clerk's Transcript Fee Paid Paid by Appellant $129.23; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 02/02/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Appeal - Clerk's Transcript Fee Paid Paid by Appellant $129.23 for "X" Appeal: Name Extension changed from Paid by Appellant $129.23 to Paid by Appellant $129.23 for "X" Appeal; As To Parties: removed

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  • 01/19/2021
  • DocketAppeal - Notice of Fees Due for Clerk's Transcript on Appeal 11/19/20 BV033414; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 01/15/2021
  • DocketUpdated -- Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal X: As To Parties: removed

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  • 11/25/2020
  • DocketAppeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal; Filed by: Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/25/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal X: Name Extension: X; As To Parties: removed

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  • 11/25/2020
  • DocketUpdated -- Appeal - Notice of Filing of Notice of Appeal X: As To Parties: removed

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  • 11/19/2020
  • DocketAppeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed "X"; Filed by: Julio Martinez (Appellant); As to: Eligio Gonzalez (Respondent); Isabel M. Gonzalez (Respondent); To be paid at Central: No

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44 More Docket Entries
  • 11/16/2018
  • DocketDefault entered as to Eligio Gonzalez; On the Complaint filed by Julio Martinez on 08/28/2018

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  • 11/16/2018
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Julio Martinez (Plaintiff); As to: Eligio Gonzalez (Defendant); Service Date: 10/15/2018; Service Cost: 100.00; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 11/16/2018
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: Julio Martinez (Plaintiff); As to: Eligio Gonzalez (Defendant)

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: Julio Martinez (Plaintiff); As to: Eligio Gonzalez (Defendant); Isabel M. Gonzalez (Defendant)

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Julio Martinez (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. Wendy Chang in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 02/25/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 08/28/2018
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause - Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 08/31/2021 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 18STLC10990    Hearing Date: November 16, 2020    Dept: 26

Martinez v. Gonzalez, et al.

MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES; MOTION TO TAX COSTS

(Civ. Code § 52(a); Cal. Rules of Court Rule 3.1702)

TENTATIVE RULING

Plaintiff Julio Martinez’s Motion for Attorney Fees is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $950.00.

ANALYSIS:

On August 28, 2018, Plaintiff Julio Martinez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for discrimination on the basis of disability against Defendants Elgio Gonzalez and Isabel M. Gonzalez (“Defendants”). Following Defendants’ failure to file a responsive pleading, Plaintiff obtained default judgment against on February 8, 2019 in the amount of $4,000.00 principal and $800.00 attorney fees. Plaintiff’s request for costs of $514.94 were not included in the judgment.

On March 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed an appeal with respect to the lack of costs in the judgment. On February 11, 2020, the Appellate Division issued a remittitur ordering the Court to determine the legitimacy of the costs sought. (Remittitur, filed 2/11/20, p. 5:4-8.) 

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Attorney Fees on Appeal on February 20, 2020. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Discussion

Right to Attorney’s Fees

Plaintiff moves for an award of attorney fees incurred on appeal under Cal. Rules of Court Rule 3.1702, which allows a prevailing party to recover fees pursuant to a statute or contract. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1702, subd. (a).) “Where a contract or a statute creates a right for the prevailing party to recover attorney fees, the prevailing party is also entitled to attorney fees on appeal.” (MBNA America Bank, N.A. v. Gorman (2006) 147 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1, 13-14 (citing Villinger/Nicholls Development Co. v. Meleyco (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 321, 329).) Based on the attorney fees provision in the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the statute under which this action was brought, Plaintiff is entitled to recover attorney fees for his successful appeal. (Civ. Code, § 52, subd. (a).)

Timing of Motion for Attorney’s Fees

“A notice of motion to claim attorney's fees on appeal--other than the attorney's fees on appeal claimed under (b)--under a statute or contract requiring the court to determine entitlement to the fees, the amount of the fees, or both, must be served and filed within the time for serving and filing the memorandum of costs under rule 8.278(c)(1) in an unlimited civil case or under rule 8.891(c)(1) in a limited civil case.” (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1702, subd. (c)(1).) Under Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.891, subdivision (c)(1): “Within 30 days after the clerk sends notice of issuance of the remittitur, a party claiming costs awarded by the appellate division must serve and file in the trial court a verified memorandum of costs under rule 3.1700(a)(1).

Here, the clerk issued the remittitur on February 11, 2020 and the instant Motion for Attorney Fees on Appeal was timely filed and served on February 20, 2020.

Calculation of Attorney’s Fees

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 attorneys’ 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.)  After the trial court has performed the lodestar calculations, it shall consider whether the total award so calculated under all of the circumstances of the case is more than a reasonable amount and, if so, shall reduce the section 1717 award so that it is a reasonable figure.  (PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095-1096.)

“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.) 

Plaintiff seeks attorney fees of $2,090.00 based on 4.4 hours of attorney time billed at $475.00 per hour. (Motion, Mehrban Decl., ¶¶3-5.) The hourly rate is reasonable for an attorney with 17 years’ experience. (Id. at ¶5.) However, the Court finds the number of hours billed excessive. For example, the time spent drafting the appellate brief, the motion for attorney fees’ and the estimated time to appear at the prior hearing are inflated given the simplicity of the single costs issue. Therefore, using the lodestar method, the Court determines that the Plaintiff is entitled to fees for two hours of time.

Conclusion

Plaintiff Julio Martinez’s Motion for Attorney Fees is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $950.00.

Moving party to give notice.

Case Number: 18STLC10990    Hearing Date: October 15, 2020    Dept: 26

Martinez v. Gonzalez, et al

MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES; MOTION TO TAX COSTS

(CCP §§ 1032, 1033.5, 1717)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Julio Martinez’s Motion for Attorney Fees is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,090.00.

ANALYSIS:

On August 28, 2018, Plaintiff Julio Martinez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action for discrimination on the basis of disability against Defendants Elgio Gonzalez and Isabel M. Gonzalez (“Defendants”). Following Defendants’ failure to file a responsive pleading, Plaintiff obtained default judgment against on February 8, 2019 in the amount of $4,000.00 principal and $800.00 attorney fees. Plaintiff’s request for costs of $514.94 were not included in the judgment.

On March 25, 2019, Plaintiff filed an appeal with respect to the lack of costs in the judgment. On February 11, 2020, the Appellate Division issued a remittitur ordering the Court to determine the legitimacy of the costs sought. (Remittitur, filed 2/11/20, p. 5:4-8.)

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Attorney Fees on Appeal on February 20, 2020. To date, no opposition has been filed.

Discussion

Right to Attorney’s Fees

Plaintiff moves for an award of attorney fees incurred on appeal under Cal. Rules of Court Rule 3.1702, which allows a prevailing party to recover fees pursuant to a statute or contract. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1702, subd. (a).) Where a contract or a statute creates a right for the prevailing party to recover attorney fees, the prevailing party is also entitled to attorney fees on appeal.” (MBNA America Bank, N.A. v. Gorman (2006) 147 Cal.App.4th Supp. 1, 13-14 (citing Villinger/Nicholls Development Co. v. Meleyco (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 321, 329).) Based on the attorney fees provision in the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the statute under which this action was brought, Plaintiff is entitled to recover attorney fees for his successful appeal. (Civ. Code, § 52, subd. (a).)

Timing of Motion for Attorney’s Fees

“A notice of motion to claim attorney's fees on appeal--other than the attorney's fees on appeal claimed under (b)--under a statute or contract requiring the court to determine entitlement to the fees, the amount of the fees, or both, must be served and filed within the time for serving and filing the memorandum of costs under rule 8.278(c)(1) in an unlimited civil case or under rule 8.891(c)(1) in a limited civil case.” (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1702, subd. (c)(1).) Under Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.891, subdivision (c)(1): “Within 30 days after the clerk sends notice of issuance of the remittitur, a party claiming costs awarded by the appellate division must serve and file in the trial court a verified memorandum of costs under rule 3.1700(a)(1).

Here, the clerk sent issuance of the remittitur on February 11, 2020 and the instant Motion for Attorney Fees on Appeal was timely filed and served on February 20, 2020.

Calculation of Attorney’s Fees

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 attorneys’ 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.) After the trial court has performed the lodestar calculations, it shall consider whether the total award so calculated under all of the circumstances of the case is more than a reasonable amount and, if so, shall reduce the section 1717 award so that it is a reasonable figure. (PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1084, 1095-1096.)

“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.)

Plaintiff seeks attorney fees of $2,090.00 based on 4.4 hours of attorney time billed at $475.00 per hour. (Motion, Mehrban Decl., ¶¶3-5.) The hourly rate is reasonable for an attorney with 17 years’ experience. (Id. at ¶5.) The number of hours billed is also reasonable; Plaintiff’s attorney billed less than five hours on the appeal despite Respondents filing an opposition. (Id. at ¶3.) The Motion provides a detailed itemization of the fees incurred. (Ibid.)

Therefore, using the lodestar method, the Court determines that Plaintiff has demonstrated he is entitled to $2,090.00 in attorney fees.

Conclusion

Plaintiff Julio Martinez’s Motion for Attorney Fees is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,090.00.

Moving party to give notice.