United States District Court, D. Hawaii
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT IN PART AND DENY
IN PART DEFENDANT'S BILL OF COSTS
KENNETH J. MANSFIELD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
29, 2018, Defendant State of Hawaii, Department of Education
(“Defendant”) filed its Bill of Costs. ECF No.
74. On June 1, 2018, Plaintiff Stephanie Dixon
(“Plaintiff”) filed her Objections to the Bill of
Costs (“Objection”). ECF No. 75.
Court elected to decide this matter without a hearing
pursuant to Rule 7.2 of the Local Rules of Practice for the
United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
(“Local Rules”). After carefully reviewing the
filings and the record in this case, the Court FINDS and
RECOMMENDS that the district court GRANT IN PART and DENY IN
PART Defendant's Bill of Costs.
case arises out of Plaintiff's employment as a school
counselor for Defendant. On March 11, 2016, Plaintiff filed
her original Complaint. ECF No. 1. On January 5, 2018,
Plaintiff filed her Second Amended Complaint. ECF No. 56. The
Court recites the following background facts from the
district court's May 14, 2018 Order Granting Defendant
State of Hawaii, Department of Education's Second Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings (“05/14/2018
Order”). ECF No. 72.
alleged that she is an African American woman and that the
DOE treated her less favorably than a similarly situated
white male employee when she was denied training
opportunities, forced to share an office with another African
American school counselor, and eventually moved to a smaller
office. Plaintiff also alleged that Defendant took no action
when Plaintiff complained to her supervisors about the
disparate treatment, and instead retaliated against Plaintiff
when she reported an assault by a parent of one of the
students Plaintiff counseled. Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint asserted claims against Defendant for
discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000, et seq. (“Title VII”).
January 11, 2018, Defendant filed its Second Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings, seeking dismissal of all claims in
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint
(“MJOP”). ECF No. 62. Pursuant to the 05/14/2018
Order, the district court granted Defendant's MJOP and
directed the Clerk's Office to close the case. ECF No.
72. The Clerk of Court subsequently entered judgment in favor
of Defendant on May 14, 2018. ECF No. 73.
timely filed its Bill of Costs on May 29, 2018. ECF No. 74.
Defendant's Bill of Costs includes a supporting
declaration from its counsel, William M. Levins, Esq.
(“Levins Declaration”). ECF No. 74-3.
Defendant's Bill of Costs
requests $2, 237.98 in costs pursuant to Rule 54(d)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”).
See ECF No. 74; ECF No. 74-2 at 3. FRCP Rule
54(d)(1) states 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.” Thus, pursuant to FRCP Rule 54(d), courts have
discretion to award costs to the prevailing party. See
Yasui v. Maui Elec. Co., 78 F.Supp.2d 1124, 1126 (D.
“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. “The presumption itself
provides all the reason a court needs for awarding costs, and
when a district court states no reason for awarding costs,
[the appellate court] will assume it acted based on that
presumption.” Quan v. Comput. Scis. Corp., 623
F.3d 870, 888 (9th Cir. 2010) (brackets added) (citations
omitted). “To overcome this presumption, a losing party
must establish a reason to deny costs.” Stanley v.
Univ. of S. Cal., 178 F.3d 1069, 1079 (9th Cir. 1999).
courts have discretion to award costs pursuant to Rule 54(d),
“courts may only tax those costs defined in 28 U.S.C.
§ 1920.” Yasui, 78 F.Supp.2d at 1126
(other citations omitted) (citing Aflex Corp. v.
Underwriters Labs., Inc., 914 F.2d 175, 176 (9th Cir.
1990)) (providing that § 1920 enumerates expenses that a
federal court may tax as a cost under the discretionary
authority found in Rule 54(d)). Section 1920 enumerates costs
taxable to the prevailing party:
(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
special interpretation services ...