United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO ENFORCE STIPULATION
Oki Mollway United States District Judge.
a copyright infringement case involving more litigation than
justified by the initial amount in controversy. Plaintiff
Frost-Tsuji Architects claimed that Defendants Highway Inn,
Inc., and Ho`ola Mau, LLC (collectively, “Highway
Inn”), had failed to pay approximately $39, 000 owed on
an architectural contract. Frost-Tsuji asserted a copyright
infringement claim arising out of Defendants' alleged use
of Frost-Tsuji's architectural drawings. Frost-Tsuji also
claimed that Defendants had removed its copyright management
information from its architectural drawings. The court
granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants and awarded
Defendants approximately $450, 000 in attorneys' fees and
parties entered into a stipulation pursuant to which this
court ordered Defendants to refrain from collection of the
award of fees and costs from Frost-Tsuji in return for
Frost-Tsuji's deposit of $230, 000 and $229, 530.56 into
two interest-bearing accounts with Morgan Stanley Bank.
Disbursement of the funds was delayed pending the exhaustion
of the Ninth Circuit appeals and entry of final judgment with
respect to those appeals.
now seek disbursement of the funds held by Morgan Stanley
Bank. Frost-Tsuji opposes the disbursement, arguing that it
still has a right to seek a writ of certiorari from the
United States Supreme Court. The court is unpersuaded by
Frost-Tsuji's argument and orders the disbursement of the
April 15, 2015, this court entered Judgment in favor of
Defendants and against Frost-Tsuji. See ECF No. 412.
Frost-Tsuji appealed. See ECF No. 417 (Ninth Cir.
March 30, 2016, this court awarded fees and costs to
Defendants as follows:
Bargreen Ellingson is awarded $23, 678.00 in attorney's
fees and $355.97 in costs, for a total award of $24, 033.97;
J. Kadowaki is awarded $135, 004.70 in attorney's fees
and $4, 827.30 in costs, for a total award of $139, 832.00;
Highway Inn and Ho‘ola Mau are awarded $209, 660.64 in
attorney's fees and $4, 914.33 in costs, for a total
award of $214, 574.97; and Highway Inn, on behalf of Bryce
Uyehara and Iwamoto and Associates, is awarded $68, 885.31 in
attorney's fees and $1, 204.31 in costs, for a total
award of $70, 089.62.
ECF No. 472, PageID # 9614. Frost-Tsuji appealed this award
of fees and costs. See ECF No. 473 (Ninth Circuit
April 29, 2016, Defendant J. Kadowaki, Inc., filed a
cross-appeal regarding this court's award of fees and
costs. See ECF No. 477 (Ninth Cir. No. 16-15799).
That same day, Highway Inn also filed a cross-appeal from
this court's award of fees and costs. See ECF
No. 478 (Ninth Circuit No. 16-15802).
January 6, 2017, the parties stipulated to, and this court
ordered, a stay of all enforcement and collection actions
with respect to this court's award of fees and costs.
See ECF No. 497, PageID # 9905. The stipulation and
order provided that, in return for a stay of enforcement and
collection actions with respect to this court's award of
fees and costs, Frost-Tsuji would deposit with Morgan Stanley
Bank $230, 000 and $229, 530.56 in interest-bearing accounts.
Id. The stipulation and order further provided that,
“upon the exhaustion of the appeals identified as
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Docket Nos:
16-15562, 16-15799, and 16-15802, ” the funds deposited
with Morgan Stanley Bank:
may be disbursed upon final judgment of the above appeals [,
Ninth Circuit Numbers 16-15562, 16-15799, and 16-15802], by:
(1) voluntary stipulation of all parties hereto and order of
the Court, (2) direction of the Court upon a further status
conference or sua sponte, (3) by Court ...