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Morris Mcdaniel v. Ric L. Bradshaw

December 20, 2011

MORRIS MCDANIEL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RIC L. BRADSHAW, AS SHERIFF OF PALM BEACH COUNTY AND THE CITY OF BOYNTON BEACH, AS BOYNTON BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER GRANTING IN PART BILLS OF COSTS

THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant City of Boynton Beach's Verified Motion for Bill of Costs [DE 203], Plaintiff's Response Opposing Bill of Costs [DE 211], the City's Reply [DE 216], Defendant Ric L. Bradshaw's Bill of Costs [DE 204], Plaintiff's Response Opposing Bill of Costs [DE 213], and Bradshaw's Reply [DE 218]. The Court has carefully considered the motions and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.

I. BACKGROUND

On August 25, 2011, the Court entered a final summary judgment in favor of Defendants City of Boynton Beach ("City") and Defendant Ric L. Bradshaw, as Sheriff of Palm Beach County ("PBSO"), and against Plaintiff Morris McDaniel. Defendants then each filed a Bill of Costs, seeking a variety of costs and expenses. Plaintiff opposes the requests on grounds that Defendants failed to provide evidence to support all costs, making specific objections to various items sought by Defendants.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard to Award Costs

The United States Supreme Court has interpreted Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d) to grant federal courts discretion to refuse to tax costs in favor of the prevailing party. See Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 442 (1987). Moreover, "[i]n the exercise of sound discretion, trial courts are accorded great latitude in ascertaining taxable costs." Loughan v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 749 F.2d 1519, 1526 (11th Cir. 1985) (citing United States v. Kolesar, 313 F.2d 835 (5th Cir. 1963)). In exercising its discretion to tax costs, absent explicit statutory authorization, federal courts are limited to those costs specifically enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Crawford Fitting Co, 482 U.S. 437, 445 (1987).

The costs allowed in 28 U.S.C. § 1920 are as follows:

(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.

In the present case, Defendant City seeks costs totaling $4,964.99 for the following items: (1) fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case ($4,413.99); (2) fees for witnesses ($470.00); and (3) fees for copying and exemplification ($80.80). Defendant PBSO seeks costs totaling $6,387.10 for the following items: (1) fees for service of subpoenas ($350.00); (2) fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case ($3,114.21); (3) fees for ...


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