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Davis v. Law

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 24, 2014

MICHAEL DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
HOLLINS LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, Defendant.

ORDER

LAWRENCE K. KARLTON, District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Davis sued defendant Hollins Law, A Professional Corporation, alleging violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p ("FDCPA") and California's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788-1788.33 ("Rosenthal Act"). The gravamen of plaintiff's complaint was that defendant placed collection calls to his home phone, and left a voicemail message which failed to disclose that the communication was from a debt collector, violating both statutes.

On April 15, 2014, a bench trial was held in this matter. At its conclusion, the court found that defendant had violated the FDCPA and the Rosenthal Act. The court deferred its ruling on damages, and directed plaintiff to file a petition for his attorney's fees. Plaintiff did so, but also filed an untimely bill of costs. By order dated June 10, 2014, the court awarded plaintiff $250.00 in damages and $35, 813.30 in attorney's fees, but denied plaintiff's cost bill without prejudice. Davis v. Hollins Law, ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2014 WL 2619651, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81024 (E.D. Cal. Jun. 12, 2014).

Plaintiff has now filed a renewed bill of costs, seeking a total of $2392.90. (ECF No. 103.) Defendant has filed objections thereto. (ECF No. 104.) These filings are considered in turn below.

I. May plaintiff claim his attorneys' travel expenses as costs?

Plaintiff claims $1, 996.95 in airfare and hotel expenses incurred by his counsel, who was based in Los Angeles.

Defendant objects, correctly, that such travel expenses are not taxable as costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1920 provides for taxation of the following costs:

(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.

Local Rule 292(f) additionally provides for the taxation of costs attributable to: (1) per diem, mileage, and subsistence for witnesses (under 28 U.S.C. § 1821); (2) fees to masters, receivers, and commissioners (under Fed.R.Civ.P. 53(a)); (3) certain costs on appeal (under Fed. R. App. P. 39(e)); and (4) "[o]ther ...


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