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Schwartz v. Clark County

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 11, 2014

MARK J. SCHWARTZ, Plaintiff(s),
v.
CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA, et al., Defendant(s)

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is plaintiff Mark J. Schwartz's (hereinafter "plaintiff") motion to retax the bill of costs filed by defendants Clark County Nevada and Jacqueline R. Holloway (hereinafter "defendants"). (Doc. # 47). Defendants filed a response. (Doc. # 51). Plaintiff did not file a reply, and the deadline has now passed.

I. Background

Plaintiff brought the instant case in state court for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Nevada Revised Statute § 613. On April 25, 2013, defendants removed the case to this court. (Doc. # 1).

On December 26, 2013, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 22). Plaintiff filed a response, (doc. # 26), defendants filed a reply, (doc. # 29), and plaintiff filed a supplemental brief, (doc. # 40). On July 16, 2014, the court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 43).

On July 17, 2014, defendants submitted a bill of costs. (Doc. # 45). On July 18, 2014, plaintiff filed the instant motion.

II. Legal Standard

Federal rule of civil procedure 54(d)(1) states that "costs - other than attorney's fees - should be allowed to the prevailing party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). "Rule 54(d) creates a presumption for awarding costs to prevailing parties; the losing party must show why costs should not be awarded." Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932, 944-45 (9th Cir. 2003).

Title 28 U.S.C. § 1920 governs the billing of costs. Pursuant to section 1920(4), costs are available for "making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case." 28 U.S.C. § 1920(4). Section 1920(4) "does not specifically require that the copied document be introduced into the record to be an allowable cost." Haagen-Dazs Co. v. Double Rainbow Gourmet Ice Creams, Inc., 920 F.2d 587, 588 (9th Cir. 1990).

"Notwithstanding the district court's discretionary authority under federal rule of civil procedure 54(d) to refuse to tax costs in favor of a prevailing party, a district court may not rely on its equity power' to tax costs beyond those expressly authorized by section 1920." Romero v. Pomona, 883 F.2d 1418, 1428 (9th Cir. 1989) (citing Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 442 (1987)).

Further, local rule 54-1(a) provides that "the prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable costs." LR 54-1(a). Under local rule 54-6(a), "[t]he cost of copies of an exhibit necessarily attached to a document required to be filed and served is taxable." LR 54-6(a).

III. Discussion

A. Motion for retaxation

Defendants' itemized request includes general copy charges of $93.45. (Doc. # 45). Plaintiff contends that these charges are not taxable because they are not covered by section 1920 or local rule 54-6. (Doc. # 47). Plaintiff further argues that given the court's electronic filing system, copies of the documents described by defendants were not "necessary" under the relevant legal standards above. (Doc. # 47). Finally, plaintiff contends that defendants may not recover the cost of copying ...


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