On 02/28/2018 a Other - Sister State Judgment case was filed by THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION against ANDREW BITSON in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.
Disposed - Judgment Entered
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION
8/3/2018: Notice (name extension) - OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT ON SISTER-STATE JUDGMENT
8/23/2018: Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest
2/28/2018: Civil Case Cover Sheet
2/28/2018: Application for Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment
Writ of Execution (LOS ANGELES); Issued by: Clerk; County: LOS ANGELESRead MoreRead Less
Memorandum of Costs After Judgment, Acknowledgment of Credit, and Declaration of Accrued Interest; Filed by: Clerk; As to: ANDREW BITSON (Defendant); KIM ZAPATA (Defendant); Costs: 0.00; Interest: 973.88; Credits: 0.00Read MoreRead Less
Notice OF ENTRY OF JUDGMENT ON SISTER-STATE JUDGMENT; Filed by: THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION (Plaintiff); As to: ANDREW BITSON (Defendant); KIM ZAPATA (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Case assigned to in ROOM 118 Stanley Mosk CourthouseRead MoreRead Less
Application for Entry of Judgment on Sister-State Judgment; Filed by: THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION (Plaintiff); As to: ANDREW BITSON (Defendant); KIM ZAPATA (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Civil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Court orders judgment entered for Plaintiff THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION against Defendant ANDREW BITSON and Defendant KIM ZAPATA on the Complaint filed by THE BOULDERS AT LA RESERVE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, AN ARIZONA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION on 02/28/2018 for the principal amount of $16,411.29, interest of $4,632.79, and costs of $370.00 for a total of $21,414.08.Read MoreRead Less
Judgment; Filed by: ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: 18STCP00790 Hearing Date: February 06, 2020 Dept: 94
MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS
(CCP §§ 685.040, 685.080, 1033.5)
Plaintiff The Boulders at La Reserve Condominium Association’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,237.58.
On April 20, 2015, the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, County of Pima, entered a Judgment (the “Judgment”) in favor of Plaintiff The Boulders at La Reserve Condominium Association (“Plaintiff”) and against Defendants Andrew Bitson and Kim Zapata (collectively, “Defendants”). The Judgment was entered in the total amount of $13,734.31, which included a principal amount of $11,933.23, attorneys’ fees of $1,125.00, and costs of $676.08. (Request for Judicial Notice (“RNJ”), Exh. 2, p. 1-2.) It also provided for post judgment costs and attorneys’ fees upon application to the Court. (Id.)
On February 28, 2018, Plaintiff domesticated the Judgment in California. (2/28/18 Judgment.)
On August 26, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs (the “Motion”). To date, no opposition or reply briefs have been filed.
II. Request for Judicial Notice
Plaintiff requests the Court take judicial notice of: (1) the relevant excerpts of the Declaration of Condominium and of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for The Boulders at La Reserve Condominium recorded in the Pima County, Arizona Recorder’s Office, (2) a copy of the Judgment entered in the Pima County Superior Court, State of Arizona, entitled The Boulders at La Reserve Condominium Association v. Andrew Bitson and Kim Zapata, Case No. C2014-0905 and (3) a copy of the sister state Judgment domesticated in California against Defendants, case number 18STCP00790.
Plaintiff’s Request for Judicial Notice is GRANTED. (Evid. Code., § 452 subds. (c), (d).)
III. Legal Standard
The Court’s objective is to award attorney’s fee at the fair market value based on the particular action. (Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1132.) “The reasonable hourly rate is that prevailing in the community for similar work.” (PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th
1084, 1095.) “‘[T]he fee setting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the 'lodestar,' i.e., the
number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable hourly rate . . . .’” (Ketchum
v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1134.) The lodestar method is based on several factors, as relevant
to each particular case: “(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.” (Id. at 1132.) “The
‘‘experienced trial judge is the best judge of the value of professional services rendered in his
court, and while his judgment is of course subject to review, it will not be disturbed unless the
appellate court is convinced that it is clearly wrong.’’” (Id.) A negative modifier is appropriate
when duplicative work is performed. (Thayer v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 819.)
Code of Civil Procedure, section 685.070, subdivision (a) states in pertinent part: “The judgment creditor may claim under this section the following costs of enforcing a judgment: . . . (6) Attorney's fees, if allowed by Section 685.040.” Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040 provides that a “judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable and necessary costs of enforcing a judgment.” Attorney’s fees incurred in enforcing a judgment are expressly excluded unless otherwise provided by law. (Id.) Attorney’s fees that are incurred in enforcing a judgment are collectible as costs “if the underlying judgment includes an award of attorney’s fees to the judgment creditor pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of section 1033.5” which allows for attorney’s fees when authorized by contract. (Id; Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10)(A).)
In addition, Code of Civil Procedure, section 685.080 subdivision (b) requires that:
“[t]he notice of motion shall describe the costs claimed, shall state their amount, and shall be supported by an affidavit of a person who has knowledge of the facts stating that to the person's best knowledge and belief the costs are correct, are reasonable and necessary, and have not been satisfied. The notice of motion shall be served on the judgment debtor. Service shall be made personally or by mail.”
Here, because the judgment from the underlying case provided for “post judgment costs and attorney fees to be awarded upon application to the Court,” Plaintiff is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs in enforcing its judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 685.040.
Plaintiff submits the declaration of its attorney, B. Austin Baillio (“Baillio”) in support of its request for attorneys’ fees and costs. Baillio has spent a total of 7 hours in collection efforts billed at his hourly rate of $275.00 per hour prior to December 1, 2018 and $300.00 per hour thereafter, and anticipates spending .4 hours at the hearing for this Motion. (Mot., Baillio Decl., ¶ 6, 9.) Fees also include one flat fee of $450.00 for preparing a withholding order. (Id., ¶ 7.)
Attorneys’ fees incurred to date, including the anticipated fees of $120.00 for the hearing on this Motion, total $2,565.00 and costs equal $672.58. (Mot,. Baillio Decl., Exh. A.) In reviewing the billing record, the Court finds that the rate charged is reasonable and that hours charged were reasonably expended in collection efforts in Plaintiff’s interest.
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s request for $2,565.00 in attorneys’ fees and $672.58 in costs.
V. Conclusion & Order
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff The Boulders at La Reserve Condominium Association’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs is GRANTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,237.58.
Moving party is ordered to give notice.