United States District Court, E.D. New York
NICHOLAS G. GARAUFIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is Plaintiff's renewed motion for an award of
$16, 466.50 in attorneys' fees in this
mortgage-foreclosure action. (Pl. Notice of Mot. for
Att'ys' Fees ("Mot.") (Dkt. 71); see
also Sept. 28, 2015, Order Adopting R&R (Dkt. 59)
(denying Plaintiffs request for attorneys' fees without
prejudice); Aug. 17, 2016, Order Adopting R&R ("Aug.
17, 2016 Order") (Dkt. 70) (same); Aff. of Andrew
Jacobson in Supp. of Mot. ("Jacobson Aff.") (Dkt.
72).) On March 13, 2017, the court referred the motion to
Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak for a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and
Rule 72(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (March
13, 2017, Order Referring Mot.) On September 14, 2017, Judge
Pollak entered a Report and Recommendation (the
"R&R"), which proposed that the court grant
Plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees, but
recommended reducing the award to $10, 887 to account for
Plaintiffs "inability ... to demonstrate the
'necessity of hours spent' in connection with [its]
second and third attempts at damages and attorney fee
requests." (Sept. 14, 2017, R&R (Dkt. 74) at 17
(quoting E. Sav. Bank. FSB v. Evancie. No.
13-CV-00878 (ADS) (WDW), 2014 WL 1515643, at *4 (E.D.N.Y.
Apr. 18, 2014Y): see also Id. at 18 (noting
that this total "reflects the Court's recommendation
of reducing plaintiffs counsel's high hourly fees, and
also considers the fact that this motion is plaintiffs third
request for attorneys' fees").)
September 15, 2017, the Clerk of Court mailed the R&R to
Defendants Minnie P. Hawkins, the Estate of Martha Green,
Charlene Greene, Eddie Junior Hawkins, Calvin Hawkins, and
the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance at
their last known addresses. No. party has objected to the
R&R, and the time to do so has passed. See Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(2). (See also R. & R. at 18 ("Any
objections to this [R&R] must be filed with the Clerk of
Court, with a copy to the undersigned, within fourteen (14)
days of receipt of this Report.").) The court therefore
reviews the R&R for clear error. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Wider v. Colvin. 245 F.Supp.3d 381, 385
(E.D.N.Y. 2017); see also Porter v. Potter. 219
Fed.Appx. 112 (2d Cir. 2007) (summary order). The court finds
no clear error in the R&R's calculation of
attorneys' fees and therefore adopts the R&R in this
remaining question for the court is who is liable for
attorneys' fees pursuant to the mortgage. Plaintiffs
initial submissions did not indicate exactly which defendants
it intended to hold liable for these fees. This issue matters
because the court may enter a default judgment only "if
liability is established as a matter of law when the factual
allegations of the complaint are taken as true."
Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 2. Albany,
N.Y. Pension Fund v. Moulton Masonry & Const.. LLC,
779 F.3d 182, 187 (2d Cir. 2015). The court therefore ordered
supplemental briefing identifying the defendants from which
Plaintiff seeks to recover attorneys' fees and explaining
why such Defendant or Defendants could be held liable. (Nov.
27, 2017, Order.) Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a memorandum
stating that it only intended to recover fees from the estate
of Calvin Hawkins, who signed the note and mortgage
containing the applicable attorneys'-fees provisions. (PL
Dec. 8, 2017, Suppl. Mem. ("Suppl. Mem.") (Dkt. 77)
court agrees that the estate of Calvin Hawkins is liable for the
attorneys' fees. Under New York law, which is controlling
in this diversity suit, see CIT Bank. N.A. v. Avers,
No. 15-CV-7256 (JFB) (SIL), 2017 WL 6816486, at *2 (E.D.N.Y.
Dec. 5, 2017), R&R adopted. 2018 WL 317840
(E.D.N.Y. Jan. 3, 2018), a mortgagee can recover
attorneys' fees incurred in a mortgage foreclosure action
when the mortgage instrument so provides, see, e.g.,
Levine v. Infidelity. Inc.. 770 N.Y.S.2d 83, 84
(N.Y.App.Div. 2003). The mortgage instrument signed by Calvin
Hawkins clearly entitled the mortgagee to recover reasonable
attorneys' fees incurred in foreclosing the mortgage and
selling the subject property. (Suppl. Mem. at 3-4; Mortgage,
Ex. B. to Aff. of Caryn Edwards (Dkt. 65-2) ¶ 22
("In any lawsuit for Foreclosure and Sale, Lender will
have the right to collect all costs and disbursements and
additional allowances allowed by Applicable Law and will have
the right to add all reasonable attorneys' fees to the
amount I owe Lender, which fees shall become part of the Sums
Secured."); see also Note, Ex. A. to Aff. of
Caryn Edwards (Dkt. 65-1) ¶ 6(E) ("If the Note
Holder has required me to pay immediately in full as
described above, [it] will have the right to be paid back by
me for all of its costs and expenses in enforcing this Note
to the extent not prohibited by applicable law. Those
expenses include, for example, reasonable attorneys'
fees.").) As a mortgagee, Calvin Hawkins was therefore
liable for reasonable attorneys' fees. The court
expresses no view, however, as to the ultimate enforceability
of this judgment against his estate.
foregoing reasons, the court ADOPTS Judge Pollak's Report
and Recommendations (Dkt. 74) to the extent it is consistent
with the foregoing and GRANTS IN PART Plaintiffs Motion for
Attorneys' Fees (Dkt. 71). The court AWARDS Plaintiff
$10, 887 in attorneys' fees.
 The R&R was returned as
undeliverable with respect to Defendants Charlene Greene and
the estate of Martha Green. (Dkts. 75, 76.) Because these
Defendants were previously served with process, they had
sufficient notice of the action that their lack of notice as
to the R&R does not preclude its adoption. See United
States v. Washington. No. 08-CV-5083 (ENV), 2010 WL
2674537, at *1 n.l (E.D.N.Y. June 30, 2010) (collecting
cases). The court notes that it previously granted Plaintiffs
request to discontinue this action against the Internal
Revenue Service and New York State Department of Taxation and
Finance and that-as discussed below-Plaintiff only seeks to
recover attorneys' fees from Minnie P. Hawkins in her
capacity as administratrix of the estate of Calvin Hawkins.
(Aug. 15, 2016, Order Adopting R&R (Dkt. 70) at
 In its December 8, 2017, supplemental
brief in further support of its motion for attorneys'
fees, Plaintiff restated that it seeks $16, 466.50 in
attorneys' fees. (Suppl. Mem. in Supp. of Mot. (Dkt. 77)
at 4.) This simple request for more fees, unadorned by any
explanation of why Judge Pollak's more parsimonious
calculation was incorrect, is insufficient to trigger de
novo review. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2);
Molefe v. KLM Roval Dutch Airlines. 602 F.Supp.2d
485, 487 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) ("When a party makes only
conclusory or general objections [to a magistrate judge's
R&R], ... the Court will review the [R&R] strictly
for clear error.").
 The court notes that this Calvin
Hawkins is not the same as the Calvin Hawkins named as a
defendant to this suit. (See Compl. (Dkt. ...