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Mason v. City of Miami Gardens

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

December 30, 2016

JEFFREY MASON, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          WILLIAM C. TURNOFF, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant's Motion to Tax Costs. (ECF No. 66). This matter was referred to the undersigned by the Honorable Patricia A. Seitz, United States Senior District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida. (ECF No. 17). Upon consideration of the motion, the record, the applicable law, and being otherwise duly advised in the premises, the undersigned makes the following findings.

         Background

         Plaintiff Jeffery Mason is an African American male and former police sergeant with the Miami Gardens Police Department ("MGPD"). Plaintiff alleged that certain policies implemented by the City of Miami Gardens, Florida ("the City"), led MGPD officers to engage in a pattern and practice of police misconduct resulting in race-based and national origin-based stops. Plaintiff alleged further that, as a result of his complaints, he was subjected to frivolous disciplinary actions.

         Mason filed a five-count racial discrimination/retaliation action on October 22, 2014. (ECF No. 1). The operative pleading was the Fourth Amended Complaint, filed on February 2, 2016, with only two remaining counts for retaliation: Count II for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 retaliation in violation of § 1981, and Count IV for retaliation in violation of Title VII and the Florida Civil Rights Act.

         Defendant moved for summary judgment on the retaliation counts arguing that Plaintiffs actions, which led to the alleged retaliation, were not protected activity under the statutes, Plaintiff could not establish a causal connection between any protected activity and any adverse employment actions, and Plaintiff could not demonstrate that the City's reasons for its employment actions were pre-textual. The Court granted summary judgment (ECF No. 63), and entered Final Judgment in favor of Defendant. (ECF No. 64). Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an appeal that is currently pending. (ECF No. 65).

         Defendant's Motion to Tax Costs

         Defendant has moved to recover its costs in the amount of $6, 454.29. (ECF No. 66). Costs other than attorney's fees are to be awarded to the prevailing party in a civil action unless the Court otherwise directs. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). Section 1920 defines which costs are taxable. 28 U.S.C. § 1920. The court has discretion to award the costs that are specifically enumerated therein. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons. Inc.. 482 U.S. 437, 441-442 (1987). Pursuant to § 1920, 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 of the court reporter for all or any part of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and copies of papers 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 ...

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