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Kloeckner v. Perez

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

November 19, 2014

CAROLYN M. KLOECKNER, Plaintiff,
v.
THOMAS E. PEREZ, Secretary of Labor, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

E. RICHARD WEBBER, Senior District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Thomas E. Perez's Motion for Bill of Costs [ECF No. 157].

I. BACKGROUND

On October 10, 2014, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendant Thomas E. Perez regarding all of Plaintiff Carolyn M. Kloeckner's claims. The Court subsequently entered judgment on the verdict. On October 24, 2014, Defendant filed a Motion for Bill of Costs [ECF No. 157], asking the Court to tax Plaintiff $10, 347.26. Plaintiff responded on October 31, 2014, objecting to various amounts claimed by Defendant [ECF No. 158]. Subsequently, Defendant filed his Response to Plaintiff's Objections, which included an Amended Bill of Costs [ECF Nos. 160; 160-1]. In this filing, Defendant reduced the amount sought to $9, 571.09, rendering some of Plaintiff's objections moot. The amount currently sought represents fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts, witness fees, and parking fees.

II. DISCUSSION

Rule 54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that "costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party." See also In re Derailment Cases, 417 F.3d 840, 844 (8th Cir. 2005) ("A prevailing party is presumptively entitled to recover all of its costs."). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920, the Court may tax costs for:

(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 under section 1828 of this title.

The Court may not award costs other than those authorized by § 1920, because this section "imposes rigid controls on cost-shifting in federal courts[.]" Brisco-Wade v. Carnahan, 297 F.3d 781, 782 (8th Cir. 2002) (internal citations omitted). Upon objection by the opposing party as to authorized costs, however, the Court may exercise its discretion to grant or deny costs. Pershern v. Fiatallis North America, Inc., 834 F.2d 136, 140 (8th Cir. 1987).

Plaintiff has a number of remaining objections to Defendant's Motion.[1] In particular, Plaintiff objects to the amount of witness fees sought by Defendant.[2] Specifically, Plaintiff objects to the amount of requested subsistence allowance, the number of days for which Defendant seeks attendance and subsistence ...


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