Hall & Associates v. EPA, No. 13-0823, 2016 WL 5396653 (D.D.C. Sept. 27, 2016) (Chutkan, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning EPA decisions to limit nitrogen discharge into Great Bay Estuary
Disposition: Denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration; denying plaintiff's motion for attorney fees
- Litigation Considerations & Attorney Fees, Eligibility: The court finds that, "[b]ecause [plaintiff] has received the documents it originally sought, does not seek additional documents or searches, already stipulated to the adequacy of both of EPA's searches, and articulates no extraordinary circumstances or manifest injustice here, its motion for reconsideration is denied." The court relates that "the sole result that [plaintiff] seeks from the court's revision of its entire summary judgment decision would be an increase in the attorney fees that [plaintiff] contemporaneously applied for." The court finds that "[plaintiff] presents no new evidence, no extraordinary circumstance, and no risk of manifest injustice to warrant reconsideration."
On the substantive issue of attorney fees, "the court concludes that [plaintiff] has not shown that it substantially prevailed in this case, and is therefore ineligible for attorney fees." "[Plaintiff's] motion for an award of attorney fees is hereby denied." The court explains that, "here it appears that 'no small part of the delay in this case' was the result of [plaintiff's] own intransigence – or as the court characterized it in its . . . status conference, 'digging in your heels.'" The court relates that it even "ultimately took the unusual step of moving this case along by proposing modifying language" and that "[t]here is no basis for the court to conclude that [plaintiff], before commencing this suit three years ago, could not simply have offered the same clarification."