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Mellor v. West Trop Storage, LLC

United States District Court, District of Nevada

May 27, 2015

ELI MELLOR, Plaintiffs,
v.
WEST TROP STORAGE, LLC dba GREAT AMERICAN STORAGE SOLUTIONS, Defendants.

ORDER

Presently before the court is defendant West Trop Storage, LLC's ("West Trop") motion for attorney fees, costs, and post-judgment interest. (Doc. # 61). Plaintiff has not replied and the deadline to do so has passed.

I. Background

This matter arose out of a contract dispute. On or about April 26, 2010, plaintiff entered into a rental lease agreement with defendant to lease a storage unit located at 9645 West Tropicana, Las Vegas, Nevada. (Doc. # 1, ¶¶ 6-7). Plaintiff stored his personal property, including rare books, original art, gold and silver coins, manuscripts, photographs, televisions, assorted electronics, and memorabilia. The lease agreement specifically directed that the "Occupant agrees not to store collectables, heirlooms, jewelry, works of art or any property having special sentimental value to Occupant." (Doc. #32-1, ¶ 10). Plaintiff valued his stored property at nearly $1, 000, 000. (Doc. #1, ¶3).

At some point during the lease term plaintiff became delinquent on his payments. {See doc. # 1, ¶14). When plaintiff called to make arrangements to bring his account current and pay the outstanding amounts owed to defendant, plaintiff was informed that the contents of his storage space had been sold at auction. (Doc. # 1, ¶¶ 14-15). Plaintiff alleged that defendant never contacted him to give notice that his property was scheduled to be auctioned. (Doc. # 1, ¶ 15).

Plaintiff initiated his case with the aid of counsel on August 21, 2013, and brought claims for declaratory relief, injunctive relief, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence, and violations of NRS §§ 108.476, 108.4763, and 108.477. Plaintiff has proceeded pro se in the case since January 17, 2014.

On October 24, 2014, defendant filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that this court lacked jurisdiction to hear plaintiffs case. (Doc. # 32). The court granted defendant's motion and dismissed plaintiffs case without prejudice. (Doc. # 55). Because NRS § 108.4757 limits the value of property stored in rented storage units to a presumed maximum of $5, 000, the court found that plaintiff could not meet the amount in controversy as a legal certainty. (Id.). Plaintiff has appealed the court's decision to the Ninth Circuit. (Doc. # 63).

Defendant seeks attorneys' fees and costs[1] for its efforts litigating this case. Defendant moves for attorneys' fees pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54 and Local Rule 54-16, and for post-judgment interest pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961.

II. Legal standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d), a prevailing party may seek costs and fees. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(l)-(2). A party seeking fees must: (i) file the motion no later than 14 days after the entry of judgment; (ii) specify the judgment and the statute, rule, or other grounds entitling the movant to the award; (iii) state the amount sought or provide a fair estimate of it; and (iv) disclose, if the court so orders, the terms of any agreement about fees for the services for which the claim is made. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(2). Local Rule 54-16(b) further requires that the motion include the following components:

1. A reasonable itemization and description of the work performed;
2. An itemization of all costs sought to be charged as part of the fee award and not otherwise taxable pursuant to LR 54-1 through 54-15;
3. A brief summary of the following:
A. The results obtained and the ...

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