Case 3:01-cv-01684-WWE Document 71 Filed 09/21/2004 Page 1 of 4
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
YVETTE LAY and DANIEL LONG,
RULING ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS
This matter was tried to a jury on April 10 and 11, 2003.
After deliberation, the jury returned a verdict on April 11, 2003,
in favor of plaintiff Yvette Lay against defendant Officer Bergel
on her claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The jury could
not reach a decision as to plaintiff Daniel Long’s claims.
Pending before the Court is the plaintiff Lay’s motion for
attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount $12,691.56.
The Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Awards Act of 1976, codified
at 42 U.S.C. § 1988, provides that the Court may allow the
prevailing party a reasonable attorney fee as part of the costs.
In the present case, plaintiff was the prevailing party on her
claims arising under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The defendant complains that 1) the application for costs is
not supported by sufficient documentation or description, 2) there
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are no contemporaneous time records; 3) the hourly rates are
excessive; 4) the total hours claimed are excessive; and 5) the
award must be apportioned to reflect only the work relative to the
Upon review of the application, the Court finds that the
hourly rates are reasonable, and that the information is generally
sufficient for determination of reasonable attorney fees.
However, the Court will strike some of the hours submitted that do
not sufficiently detail the relevance to preparation of the
prevailing plaintiff’s case.
The Court will strike the one hour spent by Attorney Williams
on letters to the client and one letter to "HSR." Counsel
provides no information concerning the content of such letters or
the relevancy of such letters to the preparation of the
plaintiff’s case. Further, the Court will strike .3 hour spent by
Attorney Williams on a motion for reconsideration granting
permission to the defendants’ attorney to take depositions prior
to trial. In a status conference, the Court had previously
represented to plaintiff’s counsel that such depositions would be
allowed. Any objection could have been voiced at that conference.
Accordingly, the Court will strike 1.3 hours of Attorney Williams’
Defendant urges the Court to strike half of the time
submitted by Dawn Westbrook since only one plaintiff prevailed.
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However, Ms. Westbrook avers that the 46.75 hours submitted was
spent on the action relevant to the application for attorney fees.
Furthermore, the preparation and presentation of plaintiff Lay’s
claims were inextricably intertwined with claims of plaintiff
Long. Accordingly, the Court will not reduce Attorney Westbrook’s
hours. Further, the Court will not reduce rate of compensation
for Attorney Westbrook’s travel time. See Rose v. Heintz, 671
F.Supp.901, 906 (D.Conn. 1987).
Plaintiff has submitted a total request of $529.06 for costs.
The Court requires further details and documentation regarding the
copies of medical records, service fee for the sheriff, subpoena
of Tamara Gunther, and copy of deposition transcript. Plaintiff’s
attorney must clarify whether the costs are relevant to the
plaintiff Lay’s case and provide receipts or invoices. The motion
for costs will be denied without prejudice to refiling.
The motion for attorney fees [doc. # 49-1] is GRANTED in the
amount of $11,772.50. The motion for costs [doc. # 49-2] is
denied without prejudice. The plaintiff should submit its motion
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for costs to the clerk of the court within 30 days of this
Ruling’s filing date.
SO ORDERED this 21st day of September, 2004, at Bridgeport,
WARREN W. EGINTON, Senior U.S. District Judge