Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Perez v. Anastasia M. Garcia, P.A.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

January 2, 2018

CONSENT YENISEY PEREZ and CINTIA CINI, Plaintiffs,
v.
ANASTASIA M. GARCIA, P.A. and ANASTASIA M. GARCIA, Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOHN J. O'SULLIVAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Defendants' Motion for Entry of Costs of Litigation Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (DE # 215, 1/12/17). The parties jointly consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on all matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c). (DE# 82, 9/8/15). This matter was reassigned to the undersigned by Judge Moreno, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, on September 21, 2015, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(c). (DE # 83, 9/21/15).

         On January 12, 2017, the defendants filed the Defendants' Motion for Entry of Costs of Litigation Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (DE # 215, 1/12/17). On January 18, 2017, the plaintiffs filed the Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Entry of Costs of Litigation Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (DE # 216, 1/18/17). On October 3, 2017, the defendants filed the Reply to Plaintiffs Response in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Entry of Cots of Litigation Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (DE # 234, 10/3/17). Having carefully considered the filings and law, the undersigned issues the following Order GRANTING the Defendants' Motion for Entry of Costs of Litigation Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (DE # 215, 1/12/17).

         BACKGROUND

         On February 23, 2015, Yenisey Perez and Cintia Cini (collectively, “plaintiffs”) filed their First Amended Complaint against Anastasia M. Garcia P.A. and Anastasia M. Garcia (collectively “defendants”). See First Amended Complaint under 29 U.S.C. 201-216 Overtime Wage Violations and Retaliation under 29 U.S.C. 215(A)(3) (DE# 9, 2/23/15) (hereinafter “First Amended Complaint”). The First Amended Complaint alleged two causes of action against the defendants: federal overtime wage violation (Count I) and retaliation (Count II).[1] On July 26, 2016, the defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (DE # 179, 7/26/16) regarding the retaliation claim. On December 30, 2016, Final Judgment (DE # 214, 12/30/16) was entered in favor of the defendants with respect to the retaliation claim. Accordingly, the defendants prevailed in this matter with respect to the retaliation claim.

         The defendants request reimbursement in the amount of $2, 316.99[2] for costs associated with the fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case.

         ANALYSIS

         The defendants seek costs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).

         A. Prevailing Party

         Title 29, United States Code, Section 216(b) directs the Court to award costs to the prevailing party in an action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that costs other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs. Fed.R.Civ.Pro. 54(d)(1). A “prevailing party, ” for purposes of the rule, is a party in whose favor judgment is rendered. See Util. Automation 2000, Inc. v. Choctawhatchee Elec. Co-op., Inc., 298 F.3d 1238, 1248 (11th Cir. 2002). Accordingly, “[a]n enforceable judgment establishes a plaintiff as a prevailing party because the plaintiff has received at least some relief based upon the merits of a claim.” Id.

         The parties dispute who the prevailing party is in the instant case. The plaintiffs assert that the defendants are not the prevailing party and not entitled to costs. The plaintiffs further argue that the plaintiffs are the prevailing party because their overtime claims and retaliation claims were intertwined. The plaintiffs note that the Court bifurcated this matter and that the plaintiff's FLSA claims were litigated first, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs on the issue of willfulness, liquidated damages were imposed by the Court, and final judgment was entered against the defendants jointly and severally. Thereafter, the retaliation claims were litigated, cross motions for summary judgment were filed regarding same and the Court found in favor of the defendants on the retaliation claims. The plaintiffs maintain that the defendants are not the prevailing party in this matter because the plaintiffs prevailed on their overtime claims and their retaliation claims were intertwined with the overtime claims.

         The plaintiffs support their argument with the case of Cent. Motor Co. v. Shaw, 3 So.3d 367 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009). However, in Shaw, the defendants were seeking attorneys fees pursuant to the Florida offer of judgment statute, and in this case, there was no offer of judgment, and the defendants are not seeking recovery under that statute.

         The plaintiffs also cite to Caballero v. Sum Yum Gai, Inc., No. 08-23018-CIV, 2011 WL 1675001 (S.D. Fla. May 3, 2011) in support of their position. The plaintiffs note that the Court in Caballero stated “that the plaintiffs' minimum wage claims [were] intertwined with the plaintiffs' overtime claims and that the plaintiffs should be awarded the full fees incurred for the minimum wage claims. Id. at *4.

         The instant case is distinguishable from Caballero. Here, the plaintiffs' overtime and retaliation claims were sufficiently distinct that they were bifurcated and the Court would have held two separate trials, had the defendants not prevailed on the plaintiffs' retaliation claims at the summary judgment stage. See Order Bifurcating Trial (DE# 26, 4/20/17) (stating that “[t]he Parties will first litigate the Plaintiffs' claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Parties will proceed to trial on the FLSA claims in accordance with the Court's Scheduling Order (D.E. 15). After the FLSA trial, the Parties will litigate the Plaintiffs' retaliation claims.”). Additionally, litigation on the retaliation claim was stayed while the parties litigated the overtime claims. See Plaintiffs' Motion to Lift Stay as to Retaliation Claims, to Re-open Discovery and to Permit the Filing of Dispositive Motions (DE# 86 at 1, 9/24/15) (noting that “Plaintiffs also have . . . retaliation claims, but ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.