United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S PARTIAL OBJECTIONS AND
ADOPTING, AS MODIFIED, THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS
AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY IN PART
DEFENDANTS 3D SYSTEMS CORPORATION AND 3D SYSTEM, INC.'S
MOTION FOR AN AWARD OF ATTORNEYS' FEES
E. KOBAYASHI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
15, 2018, the magistrate judge issued his Findings and
Recommendation to Grant in Part and Deny in Part Defendants
3D Systems Corporation and 3D System, Inc.'s Motion for
an Award of Attorneys' Fees (“F&R”).
[Dkt. no. 423.] On June 29, 2018, Plaintiff Ronald Barranco
(“Plaintiff” or “Barranco”) filed his
partial objections to the F&R (“Objections”).
[Dkt. no. 429.] On July 9, 2018, Defendants 3D Systems
Corporation and 3D Systems, Inc. (“Defendants” or
“3D Systems”) filed their response to the
Objections (“Response”). [Dkt. no. 432.] The
Court has considered the Objections without a hearing,
pursuant to Rule LR7.2(e) of the Local Rules of Practice of
the United States District Court for the District of Hawai`i
(“Local Rules”). Plaintiff's Objections are
denied and the F&R is adopted, as modified, for the
reasons set forth below.
background of this matter is well known to the parties, and
the Court will only discuss the background relevant to the
Objections. On May 27, 2016, following a trial, the jury
returned verdict in favor of Defendants on all of
Plaintiff's claims and in favor of Defendants on their
counterclaim for breach of a noncompete agreement. [Dkt. no.
282.] On May 9, 2017, in its Order Denying Plaintiff's
Oral Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, this Court
concluded, based on the jury's verdict, that Defendants
were entitled to an equitable accounting. [Dkt. no. 300.] On
November 20, 2017, this Court conducted a one-day bench trial
to perform the equitable accounting. [Minutes, (dkt. no.
383).] On March 30, 2018, this Court issued its Findings of
Fact and Conclusions of Law and Order
(“FOF/COL”). [Dkt. no. 391. The FOF/COL
ruled: “judgment shall enter in favor of 3D Systems on
its breach of contract counterclaim in the amount of $522,
860.24.” 307 F.Supp.3d at 1103.
April 13, 2018, Defendants filed their Motion for an Award of
Attorneys' Fees (“Motion”). [Dkt. no. 395.]
On May 9, 2018, Plaintiff filed his memorandum in opposition,
and Defendants filed their reply on May 23, 2018. [Dkt. nos.
409, 413.] The F&R recommended that, pursuant to Haw.
Rev. Stat. § 607-14, Defendants be awarded: “$1,
299, 408.50 in attorneys' fees, $348, 668.99 in
prejudgment interest, and $71, 642.97 in nontaxable
costs.” [F&R at 30.] The Objections followed
Court has stated the legal standard applicable to its review
of magistrate judge's findings and recommendations as
Local Rule 74.2 provides: “Any party may object to a
magistrate judge's case dispositive order, findings, or
recommendations . . . within fourteen (14) days after being
served with a copy of the magistrate judge's order,
findings, or recommendations.” See also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b) (“Within 14 days after being served
with a copy of the recommended disposition, a party may serve
and file specific written objections to the proposed findings
When a party objects to a magistrate judge's findings or
recommendations, the district court must review de novo those
portions to which the objections are made and “may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also United States v.
Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673 (1980); United States v.
Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en
banc) (“[T]he district judge must review the magistrate
judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection
is made, but not otherwise.”).
Under a de novo standard, this Court reviews “the
matter anew, the same as if it had not been heard before, and
as if no decision previously had been rendered.”
Freeman v. DirecTV, Inc., 457 F.3d 1001, 1004 (9th
Cir. 2006); United States v. Silverman, 861 F.2d
571, 576 (9th Cir. 1988). The district court need not hold a
de novo hearing; however, it is the court's obligation to
arrive at its own independent conclusion about those portions
of the magistrate judge's findings or recommendation to
which a party objects. United States v. Remsing, 874
F.2d 614, 616 (9th Cir. 1989).
However, “‘[f]rivolous, conclusive, or general
objections [to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation] need not be considered by the district
court.'” Rodriguez v. Hill, No.
13CV1191-LAB (DHB), 2015 WL 366440, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 23,
2015) (some alterations in Rodriguez) (quoting
Marsden v. Moore, 847 F.2d 1536, 1548 (11th Cir.
1988)). Thus, an objection to findings “without any
analysis as to why [they are] inaccurate” is
“insufficient to trigger review of those
findings.” United States v. Rudisill, Nos. CR
97-327-PHX-ROX, CV 04-466-PHX-ROX, 2006 WL 3147663, at *1 (D.
Ariz. Nov. 1, 2006) (citation omitted). If courts required
review in such circumstances, “‘judicial
resources would be wasted and the district court's
effectiveness based on help from magistrate judges would be
undermined.'” Bridgeman v. Stainer, No.
12-CV-212 BEN (PCL), 2014 WL 1806919, at *1 (S.D. Cal. May 7,
2014) (some citations omitted) (quoting United State v.
Midgette, 478 F.3d 616, 622 (4th Cir. 2007)); see
also Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d at 1122 (“the
underlying purpose of the Federal Magistrates Act is to
improve the effective administration of justice”
(citing Peretz v. United States, 501 U.S. 923, 928,
111 S.Ct. 2661, 115 L.Ed.2d 808 (1991)). Further,
“[o]bjections that would not alter the outcome are
moot, and can be overruled on that basis alone.”
Rodriguez, 2015 WL 366440, at *1.
Muegge v. Aqua Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Civil
09-00614 LEK-BMK, 2015 WL 4041313, at *2 (D. Hawai`i June 30,
2015) (some alterations in Muegge) (some citations