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Ferrara v. 4JLJ, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division

March 27, 2017

ANTHONY FERRARA, Plaintiff,
v.
4JLJ, LLC; dba J4 OILFIELD SERVICES, Defendant.

          ORDER TAXING COSTS

          NELVA GONZALES RAMOS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendant 4JLJ, LLC's Amended Bills of Costs (D.E. 89) and memorandum in support thereof (D.E. 90). Defendant requests costs in the amount of $11, 880.09. D.E. 89. Plaintiff Anthony Ferrara filed objections to the bill of costs (D.E. 91), Defendant filed a response (D.E. 92), and Plaintiff filed a reply (D.E. 93). For the reasons set forth below, the Court awards Defendant costs in the amount of $7, 775.46.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d), costs other than attorney's fees should be granted to the prevailing party. Rule 54 affords the court discretion to award taxable costs according to the circumstances of the case, and 28 U.S.C. § 1920 defines which costs are taxable. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 440 (1987). The statute states:

A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the following:
(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;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of interpretation services under section 1828 of this title.

28 U.S.C. § 1920.

         The party who seeks to recover costs has the burden of showing the necessity and reasonableness of the costs requested. Faculty Rights Coal. v. Shahrokhi, No. Civ.A. H-04-2127, 2005 WL 1924192, at *1 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 10, 2005). A district court has wide discretion to determine whether the prevailing party is entitled to an award of costs for claimed expenses. Migis v. Pearle Vision, Inc., 135 F.3d 1041, 1049 (5th Cir. 1998); Conoco, Inc. v. Energy & Envtl. Int'l, L.C., No. Civ.A. H-01-4242 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 22, 2006). Nevertheless, Rule 54 creates a strong presumption that the prevailing party will be awarded costs permitted under § 1920. Sheets v. Yamaha Corp., 891 F.2d 533, 539 (5th Cir. 1990).

         ANALYSIS

         A. Timeliness of Amended Bill of Costs

         Plaintiff asserts that Defendant's amended bill of costs was untimely filed. Defendant filed its original bill of costs within 14 days of the final judgment, without attaching an itemization or any supporting documentation for the requested costs as required by the Clerk's bill of costs form. Plaintiff objected to many of the costs and the lack of evidence supporting them. Defendant then simultaneously withdrew the original bill of costs and filed an amended bill of costs which included documentation to support ...


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