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Drake Jones v. County of Sacramento

August 12, 2011

DRAKE JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER

Pending before the court is plaintiff's March 23, 2011 bill of costs. (Doc. No. 165.) Defendants filed objections to plaintiff's bill of costs on March 30, 2011, taking issue with several of the amounts requested by plaintiff. (Doc. No. 166.) Those objections will be addressed in turn below.

The factual background has been set forth in detail in an order filed this same day with respect to plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees and will not be repeated herein. In short, plaintiff prevailed at trial, in part, on his claim that the defendant deputies had violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff has submitted a bill of costs. Defendants have filed written objections thereto.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) and Eastern District Local Rule 292(f) govern the taxation of costs, other than attorney's fees, awarded to the prevailing party in a civil matter. The Supreme Court has interpreted Rule 54(d)(1) to require that district courts consider only those costs enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. See Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-42 (1987). Section 1920 provides that:

A judge or clerk of the court may tax the following:

(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 section 1923 of this title;

(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this title.

A bill of costs shall be filed in the case and, upon allowance, included in the judgment or decree.

Rule 54 (d)(1) provides that "costs . . . should be allowed to the prevailing party."

Fed R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1). This provision establishes a presumption that costs will be awarded to the prevailing party, but allows the court discretion to decide otherwise. Association of Mexican American Educators v. State of California, 231 F.3d 572, 591-92 (9th Cir. 2000).

The court is to exercise its discretion in determining whether to allow certain costs. See Amarel v. Connell, 102 F.3d 1494, 1523 (9th Cir. 1996) (holding that the district court has discretion to determine what constitutes a taxable cost within the meaning of § 1920); Alflex, 914 F.2d at 177 (same). The losing party has the burden of overcoming the presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party. See Russian River Watershed Prot. Comm. v. City of Santa Rosa, 142 F.3d 1136, 1144 (9th Cir. 1998) (noting that the presumption "may only be overcome by pointing to some impropriety on the part of ...


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