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Joshua Lamark v. Randall Hicks et al

August 10, 2012

JOSHUA LAMARK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RANDALL HICKS ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

This is an action for damages and injunctive relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"); Cal. Health & Safety Code § 19955 et seq.; Cal. Civ. Code §§ 54, 54.1, and 54.3; and the Unruh Civil Rights Act.*fn1 On June 27, 2012, the court dismissed with prejudice plaintiff's cause of action for violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and then declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's remaining state law claims, which were dismissed without prejudice. (Dkt. Nos. 31-32.) Subsequently, defendants submitted a bill of costs (dkt. no. 33) to which plaintiff filed objections (dkt. no. 34). After considering the papers submitted, the court's record in this matter, and the applicable law, the court now issues the following order.

DISCUSSION

"Unless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs -- other than attorney's fees -- should be allowed to the prevailing party." Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1). Unless otherwise authorized by statute or contract, the types of costs that may be awarded under Rule 54(d) are limited to those enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-42, 445 (1987). 28 U.S.C. § 1920 provides, in part, that:

A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs 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.

28 U.S.C. § 1920; see also E.D. Cal. L.R. 292(a), (f). Furthermore, in this case, the ADA appears to allow for a somewhat broader award of costs, stating that "the court..., in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, including litigation expenses, and costs...." 42 U.S.C. § 12205 (emphasis added). While defendants cannot be awarded attorneys' fees as pro se litigants, it nonetheless stands to reason that they can be awarded their costs and litigation expenses under that statute.

Here, plaintiff does not challenge defendants' status as prevailing parties. Indeed, given that plaintiff's ADA claim was dismissed with prejudice and that the remaining claims were dismissed without prejudice, defendants prevailed on a substantial part of the litigation. Testa v. Village of Mundelein, Ill., 89 F.3d 443, 447 ...


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