United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff Captain
Janz Staats' (“Staats”) Motion to Tax Costs
Out of Time, ECF No.  (“Motion”). The Court
has reviewed the Motion, all supporting and opposing filings,
the record in this case, and is otherwise fully advised. For
the reasons that follow, the Motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
Captain Janz Staats (“Staats”), filed a Verified
Complaint in rem under the Federal Maritime Lien Act
to foreclose a preferred maritime lien encumbering the M/Y
Golden Compass (the “Vessel”) for unpaid
seaman's wages. See ECF No. . On August 16,
2017, Staats entered into a Consent Judgment by which he was
entitled to recover “the principal amount of $17,
666.00, plus costs as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (to be
taxed by separate motion), plus post-judgment interest at the
statutory rate provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1961.”
See ECF No. . Significantly, the parties
submitted a proposed Consent Judgment containing this
language, which the Court adopted. Compare ECF No.
[103-1] with . Nowhere in the proposed Consent
Judgment did the parties agree to alter the deadline for the
filing of a motion to tax costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1920 until after the sale of the Vessel. See ECF No.
[103-1]. Moreover, at no point in time did Staats request an
extension of time to file a motion to tax costs until after
the sale of Vessel. Instead, more than three months after the
entry of the Consent Judgment, Staats now belatedly seeks to
tax costs and argues - without any citation to supporting
case law - that this Court can simply tax costs out of time
for good cause when there is no prejudice to the opposing
party and when the “delay was caused by simple
oversight on the part of counsel.” See ECF No.
 at 3.
Rule 7.3(c) sets forth the procedure by which a party must
seek to tax costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 as Staats
attempts to do here. It provides:
(c) Bill of Costs. A bill of costs pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 shall be filed and
served within thirty (30) days of entry of final
judgment or other appealable order that gives rise
to a right to tax costs under the circumstances listed in 28
U.S.C. § 1920. Prior to filing the bill of costs, the
moving party shall confer with affected parties under the
procedure outlined in S.D.Fla.L.R.7.1(a)(3) in a good faith
effort to resolve the items of costs being sought.
An application for a bill of costs must be submitted on form
(or in form substantially similar to) AO 133 of the
Administrative Office of the United States Courts and shall
be limited to the costs permitted by 28 U.S.C. § 1920.
Expenses and costs that the party believes are recoverable
although not identified in § 1920 shall be moved for as
provided in paragraph 7.3(a) above. The bill of costs shall
attach copies of any documentation showing the amount of
costs and shall be supported by a memorandum not exceeding
ten (10) pages. The prospects or pendency of
supplemental review or appellate proceedings
shall not toll or otherwise extend the time for filing a bill
of costs with the Court.
S.D. Fla. L. R. 7.3(c) (emphasis added). Thus, Local Rule
7.3(c) requires - in mandatory terms - that the moving party
file and serve a Bill of Costs within thirty days of the
entry of judgment, which in this case imposed a deadline of
September 15, 2017. It further provides that this deadline
will not be tolled or extended simply because of the pendency
or possibility of supplemental review or appellate
proceedings, further cementing the mandatory nature of the
30-day deadline. In this case, Staats filed his Motion and
Bill of Costs on November 22, 2017 - more than sixty days
after the deadline. Not only does Staats not provide any
authority to extend this deadline, but the Court finds no
support for this request in Local Rule 7.3(c) or the case law
interpreting this rule. Addressing a similar question of
timeliness, other courts within this district have stated:
The County also argues that its motion should not be denied
as untimely because the plaintiff was not prejudiced by the
late filing. The County does not cite any authority that the
lack of prejudice is sufficient to obviate the deadlines for
postjudgment motions provided by rule. To the contrary, rule
limitations on postjudgment motions serve an important policy
of repose and closure. Cf. Slader v. Pearle Vision,
Inc., 199 F.R.D. 125, 126 (S.D.N.Y.2001) (“the
mandatory 14- day limit for seeking attorneys' fees
should not be lightly disturbed”). The comments to
Local Rule 7.3 also indicate that the deadlines for fees and
costs motions are intended to act as bright-line cutoff
points, similar in nature to statutes of limitation. Comments
Section, Local Rule 7.3 (1999) (“in no event may a
motion for fees or costs be made later than the date provided
for in this rule”); see also Klayman v.
Freedom's Watch, Inc., No. 07-22433, 2008 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 118672, at *4-5 (S.D.Fla. Aug. 7, 2008). Lack of
prejudice alone is not sufficient cause to override the
procedures imposed by the Local Rules.
Allen-Johnson v. Miami-Dade Cty., No. 10-23627-CIV,
2012 WL 160070, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 18, 2012).
allow Staats to tax costs out of time simply because counsel
inadvertently missed the deadline by more than sixty days
would render the procedure outlined in Local Rule 7.3(c)
meaningless. And, contrary to Staats' bare-bones
assertion that Jaffe will not be prejudiced by the taxation
of costs, the Court finds that Jaffe would indeed be
prejudiced in that he would be forced to pay $4, 001.17 in
costs that are procedurally time barred. If Staats wanted to
recover his costs, the onus was on him to timely
file a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920, but he
failed to do so. The Court will not excuse Staats'
unexplained failure to Jaffe's detriment. Accordingly, it
is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Staats'
Motion to Tax Costs Out of Time, ECF No.
, is DENIED.