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Senu-oke v. Pemberton

January 19, 2007

DR. HECTOR SENU-OKE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EARL VAN PEMBERTON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Smith

Magistrate Judge King

ORDER

This matter is before the Court to determine the amount of sanctions to be awarded to Defendants pursuant to this Court's November 30, 2006 Order (Doc. 32). In this Order, the Court granted the Defendants' Motion for Relief from Judgment (Doc. 26), determined that the case was barred by the doctrine of res judicata and therefore should be dismissed with prejudice, and also awarded Defendants sanctions in the amount of the actual attorneys 'fees incurred in seeking relief from default judgment in this case. Defendants were instructed to file their statement of attorneys' fees and Plaintiff was given the opportunity to respond. While Defendants did file their statement of attorneys' fees it appears to be for fees incurred during the entire case and not just the attorneys' fees incurred in seeking relief from default judgment as instructed. Plaintiff responded but did not take issue with the reasonableness of the attorneys' fees claimed by Defendants. Therefore, the Court will determine the reasonableness and issue final judgment in this case, specifying the total amount of sanctions to be paid by Plaintiff.

Plaintiff has been ordered by this Court to pay Defendants their actual attorneys' fees incurred in seeking relief from default judgment in this case only, not any other fees incurred during the Kentucky litigation..

It appears from the pleadings and itemized bills that Defendants had initial counsel in Kentucky, John E. Davis. Mr. Davis served as counsel to the Pembertons in the Kentucky litigation. He has included his fees incurred during the course of that litigation, however, the Pembertons have only been awarded the attorneys' fees incurred in seeking relief from judgment. Therefore, those fees for Mr. Davis totaling $1,460.88 shall be excluded from the sanctions. Additionally, in comparing the invoices submitted by Mr. Davis and Ms. Carpenter, it appears that Mr. Davis began working on these issues as early as September 2005, but Ms. Carpenter did not begin working on the case until May 2006.

Most of the early work itemized by Mr. Davis was working to find local counsel. The Court does not find that the fees for this work should be attributed to Dr. Senu-oke. The Court therefore will exclude all fees incurred by Mr. Davis prior to the work completed on January 16, 2006. The work completed by Mr. Davis from that point on appears to be reasonable. Additionally, all the work completed by Ms. Carpenter appears to be reasonable.

Therefore, Plaintiff Dr. Senu-oke is ordered to pay attorneys' fees to Defendants the Pembertons in the amount of $4383.95, which includes $1749.00 for Mr. Davis's fees and $2634.95 for Ms. Carpenter's fees.

III. CONCLUSION

Based on the aforementioned and the Court's previous November 30, 2006 Opinion and Order (Doc. 32), the Court enters final judgment in favor of Defendants. Plaintiff Dr. Senu-oke is ordered to pay the Pembertons $4383.95 in sanctions.

The Clerk shall remove this case from the Court's pending cases list.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

GEORGE C. SMITH, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

20070119

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