Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lemke v. Walker

United States District Court, D. Oregon

August 12, 2014

SHELLEY A. LEMKE
v.
MARK JOHN WALKER, ET AL.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

DAVID O. CARTER, District Judge

PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR AWARD OF ATTORNEY FEES [67]

Before the Court is Shelley A. Lemke's Motion for Attorney Fees Against Defendant Walker ("Motion" or "Mot.") (Dkt. 67). Having considered the written submissions, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

The parties are familiar with the facts of this case, which was one of six that arose from Defendant's pattern of conduct, so the Court will not recite them in detail.

Shelley A. Lemke ("Ms. Lemke") was convicted of perjury in May 1998, and was eventually placed on supervised release under Defendant Mark John Walker ("Officer Walker") of the United States Department of Parole and Probation. FAC ¶¶ 6-7 (Dkt. 14). During this time, Ms. Lemke alleges that Officer Walker coerced her into engaging in sexual acts with him, including intercourse. Id. ¶¶ 8-12. These acts occurred, for example, during six home visits and one occasion when he ordered her to meet him at a casino hotel for a "supervision meeting." Decl. of Shelley Lemke for Default Judgment (Dkt. 45) ¶¶ 5-8.

Officer Walker told Ms. Lemke that if she complied, he "could make some of [her] problems go away." Id. ¶ 6. He also threatened her that "he had the ability to cause her problems." FAC ¶ 10.

Even after her supervised release ended, she was too frightened to come forward because of threats from Officer Walker and her criminal and drug history. FAC ¶ 14. In July 2010, she found out that Office Walker had been indicted for engaging in similar acts of sexual coercion with other supervisees. Id. ¶ 14. She then filed a claim with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on July 12, 2011. Decl. of John L. Chastain ¶¶ 4-10 (Dkt. 26). Her claim was finally denied on January 18, 2012. Decl. of John L. Chastain ¶¶ 4-10. On May 4, 2012, she brought an amended complaint naming the United States as a party defendant. See generally FAC.

On November 13, 2012, this Court dismissed Ms. Lemke's third claim for relief against the United States with prejudice because the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider it. November 13, 2012 Order (Dkt. 35). The Court reconsidered its previous decision in light of an intervening change in the law, Wong v. Beebe , 732 F.3d 1030 (9th Cir. 2013) (en banc). See Minute Order (Dkt. 54). The Court exercised its discretion to hold that the statute of limitations on Ms. Lemke's claims was equitably tolled, and decided that dismissal was inappropriate. See id. at 3-6.

The Court has also granted Ms. Lemke's Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant Mark John Walker. See Minute Order (Dkt. 62).

Now, Ms. Lemke moves the Court for attorneys' fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 against Officer Walker. See generally Mot. As of the date of this order, Officer Walker has not filed an opposition to the Motion. Any opposition now filed would be untimely.

A. LEGAL STANDARD

Under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, the Court may, in its discretion, grant a reasonable attorneys' fee as part of the costs to the prevailing party. 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b). The lodestar formula should be used to determine a reasonable figure for an award of attorneys' fees. A lodestar figure is calculated by "multiplying the hours spent on a case by a reasonable hourly rate of compensation for each attorney involved." Pennsylvania v. Del. Valley Citizens' Council for Clean Air , 478 U.S. 546, 563 (1986). "A strong presumption' exists that the lodestar figure represents a reasonable' fee, and upward adjustments of the lodestar are proper only in rare' and exceptional' cases." Jordan v. Multnomah County , 815 F.2d 1258, 1262 (9th Cir. 1987) (quoting Delaware Valley , 478 U.S. at 565).

A plaintiff is considered a prevailing party if it succeeds on any significant issue in litigation that gives some benefit that plaintiff sought in bringing the suit. Hensley v. Eckerhart , 461 U.S. 424, 433 (1983). To satisfy this requirement, the suit must have produced a material alteration of the legal relationship between the parties. Buckhannon Bd. & Care Home, Inc. v. W. Virginia Dep't of Health & Human Res. , 532 U.S. 598, 604 (2001). This alteration may be the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.