Justin Bieber has been hit with a fine after missing a court-ordered deposition.
The 20-year-old was ordered to pay $7,500 in legal fees to attorney Mark DiCowden for his journey and stay in Los Angeles to depose Bieber on January 23.
Bieber could not attend the deposition as he was in jail after being arrested on suspicion of DUI in Miami Beach during what police called an illegal street drag race earlier that day.
However, that cut no ice with Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel.
DiCowden represents photog Jeffrey Binion, 56, who claims Bieber, 20, ordered security to attack him outside the Hit Factory recording studio after he was spotted snapping the then 19-year-old singer in Miami on June 5, 2013.
Gossip Extra reports, court records reveal DiCowden received a $4,000 check from Bieber to reimburse a plane ticket, accommodation at a hotel and meals for four days, bringing the total damages to $11,500.
The singer later appeared at a rescheduled deposition on March 6 in Miami, during which he was grilled for four and a half hours by DiCowden in a tense hearing.
Digital Spy reports Roy Black – who is Bieber’s lead criminal defense attorney lawyer in his ongoing DUI case – said of the fine:
“We agreed to pay a reasonable fee for [attorney DiCowden’s] time in LA because Justin didn’t appear at the deposition. Justin was otherwise detained at the time.”
He added, “Nevertheless the lawsuit is without merit. The plaintiff admits in his deposition that he suffered no injury beyond so-called ’emotional distress’.”
DiCowden has also filed a motion asking Zabel to order Bieber to a second deposition on the basis that he was improperly prevented from questioning the star about his on-off girlfriend – Selena Gomez, by Justin’s lawyers.
Judge Zabel is holding a June 30 hearing to hear motion arguments on a second deposition.
According to the Associated Press, DiCowden is also seeking to hike the potential damages he could get from Bieber.
At the hearing in which the fine against Bieber was awarded, DiCowden told the judge he has documented at least 11 other alleged assaults against photographers over the past two years involving the singer and his security team.
The attorney contends a punitive damage award for photographer Binion could stop future assaults against paparazzi.
“It’s not a financial fishing expedition,” DiCowden said in court, AP reports. “It is well known around the world that Justin Bieber does not like to be photographed in public.”
Judge Zabel did not immediately rule on DiCowden’s punitive damages bid.
(Photo: Bieber in Believe movie, Open Road/ Scooter Braun Films/ Bieber Time Films).
In court, Bieber’s attorney Jared Lopez said there was no evidence Binion was physically harmed in the alleged June incident — meaning compensatory damages could be minimal.
Lopez also said there is no evidence that Bieber told his bodyguards to attack Binion and quoted the singer saying in his deposition: I don’t tell security how to do their job.”
Outside court, Black said the Binion suit was “frivolous” and intended to generate publicity.
To Local 10 he added,
“They don’t have a case for compensatory damages, let alone punitive damages, because the plaintiff has not suffered any injury.”
Meanwhile, DiCowden told Radar Online last Friday, “I will be serving Selena Gomez next week.”
“She witnessed Justin Bieber attack a photographer back in 2012,” he added, referring to a case in which the actress-singer allegedly witnessed the Canadian kicking a paparazzo in a parking lot in Calabasas, Calif.
In a concurrent criminal investigation, Hesny is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in the Binion case and was also recently charged in an altercation with a photographer in Atlanta, Georgia.
Bieber is not facing criminal charges in either case.
AP notes other incidents involving Bieber’s bodyguards are alleged in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Argentina and England, according to court papers.
Bieber has pleaded not guilty to DUI and other charges and it was recently reported a plea deal with prosecutors is close to agreement.
A charge of assault against the singer arising from an alleged attack on a limousine driver in Canada is proceeding as the equivalent of a US misdemeanor.
Bieber is also waiting to hear whether he will be charged for allegedly egging the house of his former neighbor in Calabasas related to an alleged incident in January.
The singer is currently in Miami where he is working with the oft dubbed “next Bieber,” teen star Austin Mahone, on a new song (s).
The pair were photographed leaving Nobu restaurant in Miami Beach Thursday night after celebrating Austin’s 18th birthday, which lands today.
Earlier this week it was reported Bieber had written a song he thought was “perfect” for the younger singer.