United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER RE BILL OF COSTS (ECF NOS. 319, 321, 322,
January 30, 2017, this action proceeded to a jury trial on
Plaintiff's claim that Defendants Umphenour, Szalai, and
Alvarez failed to protect him in violation of the Eighth
Amendment and that Defendant Umphenour retaliated against him
in violation of the First Amendment. On January 31, 2017, the
jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants Umphenour,
Szalai, and Alvarez on all claims. Judgment was entered
against Plaintiff and for Defendants Umphenour, Szalai, and
Alvarez on February 1, 2017. On February 6, 2017, Defendants
Umphenour, Szalai, and Alvarez filed a bill of costs. After
receiving an extension of time to file an opposition to the
bill of costs, Plaintiff filed his opposition entitled
“Motion for the Parties to Bear Their Own Costs”
on March 22, 2017.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
“costs--other than attorney's fees--should be
allowed to the prevailing party.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
54(d)(1). Rule 54 creates “a presumption for awarding
costs to prevailing parties; the losing party must show why
costs should not be awarded.” Draper v.
Rosario, 836 F.3d 1072, 1087 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932,
944-45 (9th Cir. 2003)). In deciding whether to exercise
discretion to refuse to award costs, the district court
should consider appropriate reasons to deny costs such as
“(1) the substantial public importance of the case, (2)
the closeness and difficulty of the issues in the case, (3)
the chilling effect on future similar actions, (4) the
plaintiff's limited financial resources, and (5) the
economic disparity between the parties.”
Draper, 836 F.3d at 1087 (quoting Escriba v.
Foster Poultry Farms, Inc., 743 F.3d 1236, 1247-48 (9th
Cir. 2014)). This list is not exhaustive, but is a starting
point for the analysis. Draper, 836 F.3d at 1087.
jury found for Defendants Umphenour, Szalai, and Alvarez in
this action. Therefore, Defendants Umphenour, Szalai, and
Alvarez are the prevailing parties in this action and the
presumption to award costs has arisen. Defendants Umphenour,
Szalai, and Alvarez seek costs for Plaintiff's deposition
and copying fees which are taxable costs under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1920. At the time that Plaintiff's deposition was
taken it could reasonably have been expected to be used in
the trial of this action. Defendants have demonstrated that
the costs for copying documents were necessarily obtained for
use in this action and are seeking a reimbursement at a
reasonable rate. The Court finds that the costs for which
Defendants seek reimbursement were necessarily obtained for
use in the action.
the burden shifts to Plaintiff to rebut the presumption to
award costs to the prevailing party by showing reasons to
are seeking costs of $2, 182.00 for fees for transcripts and
copies necessarily obtained for use in the case. Plaintiff
does not address the factors to be considered in deciding
whether to deviate from the presumption to award costs, but
contends that he acted in good faith by paying the filing fee
and diligently attempted to obey the orders issued in this
action. Further, Plaintiff argues that Defendants engaged in
misconduct that would subject them to sanctions. Plaintiff
seeks to have the parties each bear their own costs.