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Keith Warkentin v. Federated Life Insurance Company

September 6, 2012

KEITH WARKENTIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERATED LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER RE: OBJECTIONS TO BILL OF COSTS

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Federated Life Insurance Company's bill of costs and Plaintiff Keith Warkentin's objections to such costs. Although the Clerk of the Court typically taxes and enters costs, due to the nature of the objections in this case, the Court hereby issues an order addressing the bill of costs and objections.

For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Defendant Federated's bill of costs in the amount of $2,902.29.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Keith Warkentin ("Warkentin") initiated this action on December 22, 2009, in Merced County Superior Court. Defendant Federated Life Insurance Company ("Federated") removed the action to this Court on February 10, 2010.

On March 28, 2012, the Court granted Federated's motion for summary judgment and the Clerk entered judgment against Warkentin. Warkentin has appealed that judgment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On April 10, 2012, Federated filed a bill of costs requesting a total of $52,074.20. Warkentin filed objections and supplemental objections, contending inter alia, that costs should not be awarded because he is financially unable to pay and he has limited financial resources. Docs. 76 and 93. Given Warkentin's contention, the Court ordered Warkentin to submit additional information regarding his financial resources, including a declaration signed under penalty of perjury.

On August 13, 2012, Warkentin filed a declaration and exhibits regarding his financial resources. Federated filed a reply to the declaration on August 21, 2012.

DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) states:

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.

The types of costs awarded under this rule are limited to those set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1920, including fees of the clerk and marshal, fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts, and fees and disbursements for printing, copying and witnesses. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-42 (1987); 28 U.S.C. § 1920.

Rule 54(d)(1) creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs to a prevailing party, but vests the district court with discretion to refuse to award costs. See Ass'n of Mexican-American Educators v. State of California, 231 F.3d 572, 591 (9th Cir. 2000). However, this "discretion is not unlimited. A district court must 'specify reasons' for its refusal to award costs." Id. The specified reasons must "explain why a case is not ...


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