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Payne v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division

May 2, 2017

CARL JEFFREY PAYNE, Plaintiff,
v.
J.B. HUNT TRANSPORT, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          JAMES S. MOODY JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE comes before the Court on Defendant's Amended Motion to Tax Costs (Doc. 48). Plaintiff failed to respond to the Motion. Having reviewed the Motion, relevant law, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, the Court concludes the Motion should be granted in part.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of Defendant's denial of Plaintiff's 2014 workers' compensation claim. After Defendant denied coverage, Plaintiff filed a petition in the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. Defendant responded to the petition by denying that Plaintiff was owed workers' compensation benefits. After Plaintiff received the response to his petition, he dismissed the petition and filed the instant negligence suit against Defendant. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant concluding Defendant had workers' compensation immunity from Plaintiff's tort lawsuit.

         STANDARD FOR AWARDING COSTS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) prescribes an award of costs for a prevailing party unless a federal statute, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or a court order provides otherwise. See Durden v. Citicorp Trust Bank, FSB, No. 3:07-cv-974-J-34JRK, 2010 WL 2105921, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 26, 2010) (stating that Rule 54 establishes a presumption that costs should be awarded unless the district court decides otherwise (citing Chapman v. Al Transp., 229 F.3d 1012, 1038 (11th Cir. 2000))). A strong presumption exists in favor of awarding costs. See Durden, 2010 WL 2105921, at *1; see also Arcadian Fertilizer, L.P. v. MPW Indus. Servs., Inc., 249 F.3d 1293, 1296 (11th Cir. 2001). The district court's discretion in not awarding all costs is limited; the district court must articulate a sound reason for not awarding full costs. See Chapman, 229 F.3d at 1038-39; Durden, 2010 WL 2105921, at *1. “However, a court may only tax costs as authorized by statute.” E.E.O.C. v. W & O, Inc., 213 F.3d 600, 620 (11th Cir. 2000). Specifically, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1920, the following may be taxed as costs:

(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 [28 U.S.C. § 1923]; [and]
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under [28 U.S.C. § 1828].

See generally Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-42 (1987), superseded on other grounds by 42 U.S.C. § 1988(c) (finding that 28 U.S.C. § 1920 defines the term “costs” as used in Rule 54(d) and enumerates the expenses that a federal court may tax as a cost under the discretionary authority granted in Rule 54(d)). The party seeking an award of costs or expenses bears the burden of submitting a request that enables a court to determine what costs or expenses were incurred by the party and ...


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