Domingo v. Donohue

Filing 190

ORDER AWARDING COSTS. Signed by Judge Charles R. Breyer on 9/21/2016. (crblc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/21/2016)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 No. C 11-05333 CRB NESTOR C. DOMINGO, ORDER AWARDING COSTS Plaintiff, v. PATRICK R. DONOHUE, 15 Defendant. / 16 17 On October 18, 2013, this Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment 18 and entered judgment for Defendant. See Order Granting MSJ (dkt. 145); Judgment (dkt. 19 146). On October 24, 2013, Defendant timely submitted a Bill of Costs based on the October 20 18, 2013 judgment, seeking $10,015.85. See Bill of Costs (dkt. 148); Civil Local Rule 54- 21 1(a) (requiring prevailing party to file a bill of costs no later than 14 days after entry of 22 judgment).1 The Court awarded costs of $10,015.85. See Costs Taxed (dkt. 159). Plaintiff 23 appealed the Court’s summary judgment order, see Notice of Appeal (dkt. 151), and the 24 Court’s taxation of costs, see Amended Notice of Appeal (dkt. 171). The Ninth Circuit 25 affirmed this Court’s grant of summary judgment and concluded that this Court “had the 26 27 28 1 The complete text of Rule 54-1(a) is: “Time for Filing and Content. No later than 14 days after entry of judgment or order under which costs may be claimed, a prevailing party claiming taxable costs must serve and file a bill of costs. The bill must state separately and specifically each item of taxable costs claimed. It must be supported by an affidavit, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1924, that the costs are correctly stated, were necessarily incurred, and are allowable by law. Appropriate documentation to support each item claimed must be attached to the bill of costs.” 1 authority to award costs and did not abuse its discretion by doing so.” See USCA 2 Memorandum (dkt. 177) at 4. The Ninth Circuit then stated: “However, the district court 3 awarded a total of $10,015.85, but appellee has conceded that certain fees in the amount of 4 $60.00 should not have been included in the award. Therefore, we vacate the award and 5 remand for further consideration.” Id. The Ninth Circuit’s Mandate issued on March 24, 6 2016. See Mandate (dkt. 178). Neither party contends that the Court could not have simply 7 awarded Defendant costs at that time of $9,955.85 ($10,015.85 minus $60.00). 8 9 Instead the Court waited to hear from the parties. On July 26, 2016, Defendant filed an Amended Bill of Costs, seeking $9,955.85. See Amended Bill of Costs (dkt. 180). United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Plaintiff objected to the Amended Bill of Costs, asserting that it ran afoul of Civil Local Rule 11 54-1(a) because it was filed more than fourteen days after both the judgment and the 12 Mandate from the Ninth Circuit. See Objection (dkt. 183). The Court ordered supplemental 13 briefing on Plaintiff’s Objection and received responses from both parties. See Federal 14 Defendant’s Response (dkt. 188); Plaintiff’s Answer (dkt. 189). 15 The Court, having carefully considered the parties’ arguments, rejects Plaintiff’s 16 Objection. The Amended Bill of Costs is not a “new” Bill of Costs,2 see Plaintiff’s Answer 17 at 2 (Court “should not consider a new Bill of Costs that is filed not within the time limit”), 18 which would be subject to Rule 54-1, but a correction of the original Bill of Costs, which 19 complied with Rule 54-1. Judge Illston’s decision in San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit 20 District v. Spencer, Case No. 04-cv-4632 SI, which Plaintiff cites for the proposition that the 21 Court should not consider a late bill of costs, see Plaintiff’s Answer at 2, actually supports 22 this interpretation. In Spencer, the court had entered judgment on March 23, 2007, and then 23 issued a corrected judgment on March 29, 2007 to correct a simple arithmetic error. See 24 Order on Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law in Spencer (dkt. 401) at 19. Plaintiff 25 argued that the 14 day window to file its bill of costs pursuant to Rule 54-1 “should run from 26 the date of the corrected judgment, rather than that of the first judgment.” Id. The court 27 2 28 Further proof that it is not “new”: the Amended Bill of Costs does not include any costs associated with the appeal. See Amended Bill of Costs; Civil Local Rule 54-3(g) (allowing costs on appeal); Fed. R. App. Proc. 39 (costs on appeal). 2 1 disagreed, explaining that “[t]he parties understood on March 23, 2007, that judgment had 2 been entered in favor of [Plaintiff].” Id. The court further cited to Laffey v. Northwest 3 Airlines, Inc., 587 F.2d 1223 (D.C. Cir. 1978), in which a bill of costs was untimely where 4 “the prevailing party did not seek costs until after a petition for rehearing had been denied, 11 5 months after entry of judgment.” Id. The lesson from both Spencer and Laffey is that a 6 prevailing party must promptly file its bill of costs at the first opportunity (usually, when the 7 district court enters judgment). Defendant did so here. See Bill of Costs.3 8 The Court therefore AWARDS Defendant costs of $9,955.85. 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Dated: September 21, 2016 CHARLES R. BREYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 3 28 The Court rejects any suggestion that the Ninth Circuit’s Mandate in this case was the “order under which costs may be claimed,” as Defendant’s entitlement to the costs at issue stemmed from the entry of judgment. See Local Civil Rule 54-1(a). 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?