The opinion of the court was delivered by: Perry, Senior District Judge.
This cause comes on upon plaintiff's motion for attorneys'
fees and costs (filed November 5, 1980), and upon plaintiff's
amended and supplemental motion for attorneys' fees and costs,
which was filed March 20, 1981 and which the court hereby
treats as having supplanted the motion filed November 5, 1980.
The court has read and considered both the aforesaid motions,
defendants' Objections To Plaintiff's Petition For Attorneys'
Fees, filed January 6, 1981, and Defendants' Responsive
Memorandum of Law On The Issue of Attorneys' Fees, filed May
11, 1981. After making narrative findings and conclusions
hereinafter, the court will rule on said amended and
supplemental motion for attorneys' fees and costs.
Plaintiff's suit against the Village officials was, for all
practical purposes, brought against the Village itself. The
Village's attorneys recognized this, for they have defended
this suit since it began. Congress, too, has recognized that
suits for injunctive relief against state or municipal
officers in their official capacities are, for all practical
purposes, suits against the state or the municipality itself
and the legislative history of 42 U.S.C. § 1988 makes it clear
that in such instances attorneys' fees should generally be
obtained "either directly from the official, in his official
capacity, from funds of his agency or under his control, or
from the State or local government (whether or not the agency
or the government is a named party)". [italics added]. Hutto v.
Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 700, 98 S.Ct. 2565, 2578, 57 L.Ed.2d 522
(1978), citing and quoting from S.Rep.No.94-1011, p. 5 (1976).
In Morrison v. Ayoob, 627 F.2d 669, 672-673 (3rd Cir. 1980),
the Court of Appeals said:
The doctrine of judicial immunity is a
common-law rule, and the Supreme Court has
indicated that Congress may abolish the doctrine
when it sees fit. See Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547,
554-55, 87 S.Ct. 1213, 1217-18, 18 L.Ed.2d 288
(1967). We believe that Congress has done so in §
Then the Court briefly discussed the legislative history of
Just as the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that
Congress intended to abrogate judicial immunity under § 1988,
our own Court of Appeals in the appeal of the instant case held
that Congress also intended the abrogation of any immunity
possessed by the officials of the Village of Westmont. This
court is controlled by this holding and it is the law of the
case inasmuch as the defendants' application for writ of
certiorari has recently been denied by the United States
It was the ordinances of the Village of Westmont that were
held to violate plaintiff's civil rights and, in the opinion
of the court, it is the Village of Westmont which is therefore
responsible for the award of attorneys' fees and costs. See
Hutto v. Finney, supra, 437 U.S., at 700, 98 S.Ct. at 2578; Boe
v. Colello, 447 F. Supp. 607, 611 (S.D.N.Y. 1978); Jordan v.
Wokle, 464 F. Supp. 173, 174 (E.D.Wis. 1979).
In view of the foregoing, the court determines that the
Village of Westmont is the village entity responsible for the
award of attorneys' fees and costs.
The court also determines that the plaintiff is entitled to
attorneys' fees for work done on appeal. Davis v. Murphy,
587 F.2d 362, 364-65 (7th Cir. 1978); Hutto v. Finney, supra, 437
U.S. at 699-700, 98 S.Ct. at 2578; Love v. Mayor, 620 F.2d 235,
237 (10th Cir. 1980).
The court has also been ordered to determine the proper
amount of attorneys' fees. For reasons set forth below, the
court has determined that the hours claimed by counsel are not
a rational reflection of the services that were necessary to
In fashioning an hourly rate it is proper for the court to
take into account the novelty and difficulty of the issues as
well as other factors. This was a simple case. Nothing was
complicated and the issues were simple and clear-cut. The only
problem was the interpretation of the term "prevailing party"
in the statute (42 U.S.C. § 1988) which allows the court in
civil rights cases, in the exercise of its discretion, to grant
a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs to the
"prevailing party". This case presented no novel questions for
which there was no direct precedent. The complaint contained
issues which plaintiff knew or should have known would be
controlled by readily-available, published decisions of other
There was no discovery and there was no trial. There was
merely a hearing, held November 2, 1979 on defendants' motion
to dismiss, followed by one other hearing, held