United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
SALLY J. PASSMORE and PAULA J. THYFAULT, Plaintiffs,
21ST CENTURY ONCOLOGY, LLC, Defendant.
MORALES HOWARD UNITED SLATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court on the Proposed Bill of
Costs (Doc. 68; Bill of Costs) filed by Defendant 21st
Century Oncology, LLC on June 12, 2019. Although Plaintiffs
have not objected to the Bill of Costs, the Court is of the
view that Defendant seeks to tax costs beyond those permitted
under the applicable statute as well as costs for which it
has failed to establish its entitlement.
54(d)(1), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule(s)) provides
in pertinent part that costs other than attorney's fees
“should be allowed to the prevailing party.”
See Rule 54(d)(1). This provision “establishes
a presumption that costs are to be awarded to a prevailing
party, but vests the district court with discretion to decide
otherwise.” Chapman v. AI Transport, 229 F.3d
1012, 1038 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (citations omitted).
However, Rule 54 does not allow a court “to reimburse a
winning litigant for every expense” incurred in the
case. Farmer v. Arabian Am. Oil Co., 379 U.S. 227,
234 (1964). Rather, “a court may only tax costs as
authorized by statute.” EEOC v. W & O,
Inc., 213 F.3d 600, 620 (11th Cir. 2000). As such,
absent explicit statutory authorization, a court's
authority to tax costs is limited to those costs
“enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1920.”
Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S.
437, 445 (1987).
to § 1920, only the following costs may be taxed:
(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.
28 U.S.C. § 1920. Notably, the party seeking to tax
costs bears the burden of establishing its entitlement to the
award of those costs. See Lee v. American Eagle Airlines,
Inc., 93 F.Supp.2d 1322, 1335 (S.D. Fla. 2000). This
includes providing sufficient information for the court to
determine whether a particular cost was “necessarily
obtained for use in the case.” Travelers Indemnity
Company of Connecticut v. Attorney's Title Ins.
Fund, No. 2:13-cv-670-FtM-38CM, 2019 WL 359862, at *3
(M.D. Fla. Jan. 14, 2019) (Report & Recommendation
adopted by 2019 WL 354881) (M.D. Fla. Jan. 29, 2019).
upon review of the Bill of Costs, the Court determines that
Defendant has failed to establish its entitlement to an award
of certain costs as discussed below:
1. Expert witness fees in excess of the $40.00 statutory
witness fee set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1821 are not
taxable. See Kivi v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., 695
F.2d 1285, 1289 (11th Cir. 1983) (“[I]t is well settled
that expert witness fees cannot be assessed in excess of
witness fees provided in § 1821.”) (quoting
Morrison v. Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., 97 F.3d 460,
463 (11th Cir. 1996)). Thus, the Court will reduce the
witness fees sought by Defendant by $1, 973.75. See
Bill of Costs at 22.
2. The cost of renting a conference room for a deposition is
not taxable. See Computer Program and Systems, Inc. v.
Wazu Holdings, Ltd., Civil Action 15-00405-KD-N, 2019 WL
1119352, at *10 (S.D. Ala. March 11, 2019) (collecting
cases); Groves v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., No.
09-20800-CIV, 2011 WL 817930, at *2 (S.D. Fla. March 2,
2011). Thus, the Court will reduce the amount sought for
“printed or electronically recorded ...