United States District Court, D. Utah, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER AWARDING WEBER COUNTY
Waddoups United States District Judge
Weber County Defendants submitted a Bill of Costs, requesting
an award in the amount of $8, 782.96. (Dkt. No. 439.) The
Bill of Costs is supported by the Verified Memorandum of
Costs by Karen B. Jeppson, paralegal to Susan Black Dunn, the
attorney who represented the Weber County Defendants.
Attached to the Memorandum of Costs are the invoices to
support each of the amounts requested. (Id.)
Plaintiff Marcia Eisenhour filed an objection. (Dkt. No.
446.) And the Weber County Defendants filed a Memorandum in
Response. (Dkt. No. 451.)
may recover an award of costs for necessary litigation
expenses under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 which “enumerates
expenses that a federal court may tax as costs under the
discretionary authority found in Rule 54(d).”
Crawford Fitting Co. V. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S.
437, 441-42 (1987). DUCiv R 54-2 provides additional
standards for interpreting the costs allowed by § 1920.
“[The] prevailing party bears the burden of
establishing the amount of costs to which it is entitled. Our
precedents establish that the amount a prevailing party
requests must be reasonable.” In Re Williams
Securities Litigation-WCG Subclass, 558 F.3d 1144, 1148
(10th Cir. 2009). Under that test, costs for materials that
“merely added to the convenience of counsel or the
district court” are not recoverable. Id. at
1147 (quotation omitted). Accordingly, a district court
should carefully scrutinize the items proposed by a
prevailing party as costs. Id.
1920 provides that the following costs may, if reasonable, be
(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts
necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies
of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained
for use in the case . . . .
support for its bill of costs, the prevailing party must
submit a memorandum of costs and supporting documentation
that “(1) clearly and concisely itemize and describe
the costs; (ii) set forth the statutory basis for seeking
reimbursement of those costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920; and
(iii) reference and include copies of applicable invoices,
receipts, and disbursement instruments. Failure to itemize
and verify costs may result in their being disallowed.”
DUCiv R 54-2(a). The court finds that the Weber County
Defendants have met the requirements to clearly itemize and
provide the statutory basis for the requested costs.
the Court has broad discretion in awarding costs, the Supreme
Court has emphasized, that “taxable costs are limited
by statute and are modest in scope.” “Taxable
costs are limited to relatively minor, incidental expenses .
. . [and] are a fraction of the nontaxable expenses borne by
litigants for attorneys, experts, consultants, and
investigators.” Taniguchi v. Kan.Pac. Saipan,
Ltd., 566 U.S. 560, 132 S.Ct. 1997, 2006 (2012).
case, the Weber County Defendants have requested costs
incurred in the first trial of this action in March 2015 and
the retrial in December 2016. The jury entered a verdict in
favor of Plaintiff and against the Weber County Defendants in
the 2015 trial; the court, however, granted the Weber County
Defendants' motion for a new trial. In the second trial,
the jury entered a verdict in favor of the Weber County
objects first that the Weber County Defendants should not be
awarded any costs because they were not the prevailing party.
Plaintiff argues that Rule 54(d) contemplates only one
prevailing party, referring only to “the prevailing
party, ” and, since judgement was entered in her favor
against Defendant Storey, she can be the only prevailing
party and the Weber County Defendants must be denied their
costs. Plaintiff cites no authority to support the claim that
where judgment is entered against only one of several
defendants the prevailing defendants may not recover their
costs. Plaintiff's argument strains logic and imposes on
the rule an unjustified interpretation. Plaintiff elected to
bring claims against Defendant Storey and against the Weber
County Defendants. Although related, the claims were based on
different elements and facts. Plaintiff's claims required
the Weber County Defendants to incur costs to defend against
the claims. On retrial, the jury concluded Plaintiff failed
to prove her claims. Logic and reason support that §
1920 provides that costs be awarded. See, e.g.,
Bats Inc. v. Vector Pipeline, LP, 222 F.R.D. 356,
357-58 (N. D. Ind. 2004) (finding defendants who are
prevailing party on the substantial part of their litigation
are entitled to their costs.)
objects next that the costs the Weber County Defendants seek
to recover were not necessarily obtained for use in the case.
Plaintiff does not dispute, however, that the cost were
incurred or that they were expenses related to the case, only
that they were not necessary. The rule allows the court broad
discretion, in awarding costs and charges, to make the
decision of whether the costs were necessary. Allison v.
Bank One-Denver, 289 F.3d 1223, 1248 (10th Cir. 2002).
All of the costs claimed were incurred to defend against
Plaintiff's claims. The witnesses were called or brought
to the court to be available in the event that they were
called. The transcripts of the hearings were reasonably
necessary for guidance on numerous issues that were hotly
contested and to prepare for the two trials. The ...