as is often indicated on attorney's time sheets. Therefore, the court declines to reduce any claimed amount for work performed that was allegedly clerical in nature.
5. Costs and Disbursements
In addition to his attorney's fee, plaintiff also seeks costs and expenses associated with this action. Generally, in fee applications where an attorney's fee is authorized by statute, reasonable costs and expenses will be awarded to the extent that they are chargeable to a paying client. See, e.g., Reichman v. Bonsignore, Brignati & Mazzotta, P.C., 818 F.2d 278, 283 (2d Cir. 1987).
Defendants only object to plaintiff's request for reimbursement for his attorney's lunch while he was out of the office. The basis for this objection is that the plaintiff failed to establish that this is a cost normally billed to paying clients. Alternatively, defendants assert that the $ 52.50 sought for meals over a five day period is excessive and should be reduced to allow for no more than $ 25.00 in total, or $ 5.00 a day.
Defendants' arguments are without merit. First, an attorney who is away from his office for the benefit of his client is entitled to be reimbursed for meal expenses. Second, $ 52.50 for five meals is not excessive. Accordingly, because these meal expenses are chargeable as a cost to paying clients and because the amount charged is reasonable, the court will not deduct the costs charged for Mr. Gerace's meals from plaintiff's fee request.
III. Payment of Fees from Judgment
Having concluded that plaintiff is entitled to his attorney's fee and having set forth the basis for calculating that amount, the court must address the issue of payment of a portion of the attorney's fee from the $ 10,000.00 judgment obtained by plaintiff. As noted earlier, section 1997e(d)(2) provides that where a monetary judgment is awarded to a prisoner, a portion of the judgment, not to exceed 25%, shall be applied to satisfy the. amount of the attorney's fee awarded against the defendants. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2).
A plain reading of this particular section of the statute indicates that the court may, within its discretion, apply any portion of the judgment up to 25% to satisfy an amount of the attorney's fee awarded against defendants. See id. Here, the defendants request that the full 25% of the judgment be used to offset the amount of the fee award. Plaintiff is not opposing such a request, and the court believes 25% is a reasonable offset. Accordingly, 25% of the judgment obtained by plaintiff shall be applied to the amount of the attorney's fee awarded herein.
For the reasons set forth herein, plaintiff Kevin Clark is entitled to an award of his attorney's fee as well as costs, payable to his attorney Donald R. Gerace, in the amount of $ 7921.96.
Furthermore, the court directs that 25% of the $ 10,000.00 judgment obtained by plaintiff ($ 2,500.00) be applied toward the $ 7,921.96 to satisfy this award. Accordingly, defendants are responsible for $ 5,421.96 of the outstanding fee recovered, with the remaining portion of the fee awarded ($ 2,500.00) to be paid from plaintiff's judgment in the underlying action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: June 2, 1997
Syracuse, New York
Neal P. McCurn
Senior United States District Judge