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Hodges v. CGI Federal Defense & Intelligence

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 28, 2015

RODNEY HODGES, Plaintiff,
v.
CGI FEDERAL DEFENSE & INTELLIGENCE, et al., Defendants

For Rodney Hodges, Plaintiff: Daphne E. Barbee, LEAD ATTORNEY, Honolulu, HI.

For CGI Federal Defense & Intelligence, Defendant: Malia E. Kakos, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, Honolulu, HI.

For Ray Mabus, Secretary, Department of the Navy, Defendant: Thomas A. Helper, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the United States Attorney, Honolulu, HI.

AMENDED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY IN PART DEFENDANT CGI FEDERAL DEFENSE & INTELLIGENCE'S BILL OF COSTS

Barry M. Kurren, United States Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant CGI Federal Defense & Intelligence's (" CGI") Bill of Costs, filed December 5, 2014. (Doc. 120.) After careful consideration of the Bill of Costs and the opposing and supporting memoranda, the Court recommends that it be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and that the district court award Defendant CGI $3, 109.39 in costs.[1]

On October 31, 2014, United States District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi granted summary judgment in favor of CGI, and Judgment was thereafter entered against Plaintiff Rodney Hodges (" Mr. Hodges"). (Doc. nos. 117, 118.) On December 5, 2014, CGI filed its Bill of Costs against Mr. Hodges, seeking recovery of the following costs:

Service of Summons and Subpoena

$69.11

Transcripts

$3, 259.24

Printing

$36.20

Witnesses

$80.00

Copies

$107.70

Other (travel-related expenses)

$2, 119.50

B TOTAL$

$5, 671.75

(Doc. no. 120.) Mr. Hodges timely filed his objections to the Bill of Costs on December 9, 2014. (Doc. no. 121.) The Court ordered CGI to file a reply brief, which CGI filed on January 13, 2015. (Doc. no. 132.) DISCUSSION

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) provides that, " [u]nless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs -- other than attorney's fees -- should be allowed to the prevailing party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). The Local Rules provide that " [t]he party entitled to costs shall be the prevailing party in whose favor judgment is entered." Local Rule 54.2(a).

Courts have discretion to award costs pursuant to Rule 54(d). See Yasui v. Maui Elec. Co., Ltd., 78 F.Supp.2d 1124, 1126 (D. Haw. 1999). The burden is on the losing party to demonstrate why costs should not be awarded. Stanley v. Univ. of S. Cal., 178 F.3d 1069, 1079 (9th Cir. 1999). Indeed, " Rule 54(d) creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs to prevailing parties, and it is incumbent upon the losing party to demonstrate why the costs should not be awarded." Id. According to the Ninth Circuit:

a district court need not give affirmative reasons for awarding costs; instead, it need only find that the reasons for denying costs are not sufficiently persuasive to overcome the presumption in favor of an award. The presumption itself provides all the reason a court needs for awarding costs, and when a district court states no reason for awarding costs, we will assume it acted based on that presumption.

Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932, 945 (9th Cir. 2003); see Ass'n of Mexican-Am. Educators v. California, 231 F.3d 572, 592-93 (9th Cir. 2000) (" The requirement that district courts give reasons for denying costs flows logically from the presumption in favor of costs that is embodied in the text of the rule; if a district court wishes to depart from that presumption, it must explain why so that the appellate court will be able to determine whether or not the trial court abused its discretion . . . ." (emphasis in original) (internal quotation marks omitted)).

While courts have discretion to award costs pursuant to FRCP 54(d), courts may only tax costs that are specified in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. See Yasui, 78 F.Supp.2d at 1126 (citing Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-42, 107 S.Ct. 2494, 96 L.Ed.2d 385 (1987); Alflex Corp. v. Underwriters Labs., ...


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