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Deficient Complaint leads to Discounted Fee Claim, Per District Judge

After dismissal of a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act complaint last year for employing a “convoluted” and “baffling” style while failing to adequately allege a violation under the Act, a Judge for the U.S. District Court in Connecticut ruled on Thursday that a counsel’s fee claim in conjunction with the aforementioned litigation should be discounted. The judge described the complaint filed by plaintiff’s counsel as “largely unintelligible” and “plainly deficient”, stating that the counsel “unnecessarily expended the time of defense counsel.”

The fee claim requested 90.71 hours at $400 per hour (totaling $36284), which was reduced to 50.76 hours at $250 per hour, for a reduced total of $12690 . The court reached this conclusion by reducing for the time spend on the inadequate complaint, the time spent having it dismissed, as well as time spent on summary judgment motions. The reduction of rate was based on the locality and the experience of counsel. The complaint stems from an action brought by plaintiff against U.S. Equities Corp. alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Connecticut Creditor’s Collection Practices Act, and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act related to alleged unlawful debt collection. See Ferrari v. U.S. Equities Corp., 2015 WL 6383467 (D. Conn. Oct. 22, 2015).

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