A motion for attorney fees shall be included in the body of the motion or other pleading that gives rise to the request for fees, or by separate motion served on the opposing party/counsel at least seven days prior to the hearing on the motion. No oral motion for fees shall be considered, unless good cause is shown why this rule cannot be observed.
(B) Reasonable Fee
Absent formal evidence, as set forth in Section (C) herein, $500.00 shall be considered a reasonable attorney fee in contempt of court proceedings, unless otherwise determined by the Court. In determining the necessity for and the reasonableness of attorney fees, the Court may rely on its own knowledge and observations of the time and effort expended, tactics used, results obtained, discovery cooperation shown, settlement efforts made and compliance with Court orders demonstrated. The Court may also consider the amount of attorney fees the opposing party has incurred in the same matter.
(C) Evidence in Support of Motion
- At the time of the final hearing on the motion or pleading that gives rise to the request for attorney fees, the attorney shall present:
a) an itemized statement describing the services rendered, the time expended for such services, the requested hourly rate and the necessary expenses and costs for litigation;
b) testimony as to whether the case was complicated by any factor that necessitated extra time being spent on the case;
c) testimony regarding the attorney’s years in practice and experience in juvenile court cases; and
d) evidence of the defending party’s ability to pay, and of the moving party’s need for an award of attorney fees, if not otherwise disclosed during the hearing.
- Failure to comply with the provisions of this rule shall result in the denial of a request for attorney fees in excess of $500.00 in contempt of court proceedings, unless jurisdiction to determine the issue of fees is expressly reserved in any order resulting from the hearing. The Court reserves the right to award attorney fees as sanctions upon a finding that a motion was spurious; that there was undue delay in proceeding with the case, i.e. caused by a counsel’s or party’s dilatory behavior; that there was unexcused absence; or for good cause shown.
(D) Award to Party Only
Any award of attorney fees made by the Court must be entered in favor of a party litigant and not directly in favor of a party’s attorney.