Whitlock et al v. Pepsi Americas et al

Filing 235

ORDER SUSTAINING PLAINTIFFS' OBJECTION TO DEFENDANTS' BILL OF COSTS RE: DANIELLE SMITH AND JO ANN WAKELAND (SI, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/26/2011)

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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 HARRY WHITLOCK, et al., 8 9 Plaintiffs, ORDER SUSTAINING PLAINTIFFS’ OBJECTION TO DEFENDANTS’ BILL OF COSTS RE: DANIELLE SMITH AND JO ANN WAKELAND v. 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California No. C 08-2742 SI PEPSI AMERICAS, et al., 11 Defendants. / 12 13 In an order filed July 13, 2011, the Court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment on 14 the claims alleged by plaintiffs Danielle Smith and Jo Ann Wakeland. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and 15 Civil Local Rule 54-1, defendants filed bills of costs seeking costs in the amount of $5,829.35 against 16 Smith and $7,418.80 against Wakeland. Plaintiffs have objected to the bills of costs on the ground that 17 they are unable to pay the cost bills, and because of the significant financial disparity between the 18 parties. Ms. Wakeland has filed a declaration stating that her only source of income is $800 per month 19 in Social Security benefits, and plaintiffs’ counsel has filed a declaration stating that Ms. Smith is a 20 Medi-Cal recipient and that she has four children. 21 The taxation of costs lies within the trial court’s discretion. In re Media Vision Tech. Secs. 22 Litig., 913 F. Supp. 1362, 1366 (N.D. Cal. 1996). District courts may consider a variety of factors in 23 determining whether to exercise their discretion to deny costs to the prevailing party. These factors 24 include great economic disparity between the parties, and the losing party’s limited financial resources, 25 Assoc. of Mexican-American Educators v. Cal., 231 F.3d 572, 593 (9th Cir. 2000), both of which are 26 present here. Based upon the record in this case, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its discretion 27 and sustain plaintiffs’ objections to the bills of costs. 28 1 2 3 CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the Court SUSTAINS plaintiffs’ objections to the bills of costs and DENIES defendants bills of costs. 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. 6 7 Dated: October 26, 2011 SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2