Batres Godoy v. Trinidad De Batres
ORDER AWARDING COSTS: The Court will allow only the following costs as necessary expenses: filing and service fees ($564.50); translation costs ($523.30); and interpreter services obtained on August 4 and August 18, 2015 ($850.00). Accordingly, the Petitioner's Petition for Costs Under 22 U.S.C. § 9007 50 is GRANTED. The Petitioner is awarded costs in the amount of $1,937.80. by Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger on 2/2/16. (msksec, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger
Civil Action No. 15-cv-00568-MSK-CBS
OSCAR ARMANDO BATRES GODOY,
DELIA GUADALUPE TRINIDAD DE BATRES, formerly known as Delia Guadalupe
ORDER AWARDING COSTS
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the Petitioner Oscar Armando Batres
Godoy’s Petition for Costs under 22 U.S.C. § 9007 (#50), the Respondent Delia Guadalupe
Trinidad de Batres’ Response (#51), and the Petitioner’s Reply (#52).
The Petitioner filed a Petition (#1) pursuant to the International Child Abduction
Remedies Act (ICARA), 22 U.S.C. § 9001, et seq., which implements the Convention of the
Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, executed at the Hague on 25 Oct 1980 (“Hague
Convention”). The Petitioner sought return of the parties’ children to their country of habitual
residence, El Salvador. After an evidentiary hearing held on August 4, 2015, and August 18,
2015, the Court granted the Petition and ordered the children be returned to El Salvador. The
Petitioner now seeks an award of $3,093.051 in expenses necessarily incurred pursuant to 22
The proposed award includes the following amounts: $564.50 in filing and service fees;
$523.30 in translation costs; and $2,005.25 for interpreter services obtained on April 28, 2015
($223), June 12, 2015 ($223), June 15, 2015 ($263.25), June 23, 2015 ($223), June 29, 2015
($223), August 4, 2015 ($550), and August 18, 2015 ($300).
U.S.C. § 9007(b)(3). The Respondent objects to the Petitioner’s request, arguing that an award
of costs would be clearly inappropriate under § 9007(b)(3).
Any court ordering return of a child pursuant to an action brought
under section 9003 of this title shall order the respondent to pay
necessary expenses incurred by or on behalf of the petitioner,
including court costs, legal fees, foster home or other care during
the course of proceedings in the action, and transportation costs
related to the return of the child, unless the respondent establishes
that such order would be clearly inappropriate.
22 U.S.C. § 9007(b)(3). The statute gives the Court broad discretion in its “effort to comply with
the Hague Convention consistently with our own laws and standards.” West v. Dobrev, 735 F.3d
921, 932 (10th Cir. 2013). Under § 9007(b)(3), the Court has a duty to order the payment of
necessary expenses and legal fees, subject only to the caveat denoted by the words “clearly
inappropriate.” Thus, the Respondent has the burden to show that an award of expenses would
be “clearly inappropriate.” See Wallon v. Lynn, 356 F.3d 138, 140 (1st Cir. 2004).
The Respondent asserts that an award of costs in this case would be clearly inappropriate
because she does not have the financial means to pay an award of costs and that there is a
disparity in financial circumstances between herself and the Petitioner. The Respondent requests
that the Court either deny the Petitioner’s request, or alternatively, significantly reduce the
amount of fees requested.
Courts can reduce or deny an award of fees and/or costs in light of a party’s inability to
pay an award or due to a disparity in the parties’ financial circumstances. See, e.g, Rydder v.
Rydder, 49 F.3d 369, 373-74 (8th Cir. 1995); In re Polson, 578 F. Supp.2d 1064, 1072 (S.D. Ill.
2008); Mendoza v. Silva, 987 F.Supp.2d 910, 915 (N.D. Iowa 2014). However, having reviewed
the record and the submissions of the parties, the Court finds that the Respondent has failed to
make an adequate showing to establish that an award of costs would be “clearly inappropriate” in
this case. The Respondent is a medical doctor. She is currently in the United States voluntarily
on an asylum request. Although she testified that she is unable to work while her application is
pending, she has provided no financial affidavit explaining her current financial condition. If the
Respondent’s asylum request is granted, presumably she will be authorized to obtain
employment at that time. Alternatively, if her request is not grated, she may return to El
Salvador, where she has worked as a medical doctor. The Court therefore finds that Respondent
has failed to make an adequate showing that would justify a denial of an award of costs.
Nevertheless, the Court finds that some expenses incurred by the Petitioner were not
necessary. The interpreter services obtained on April 28, 2015, June 12, 2015, June 15, 2015,
June 23, 2015, and June 29, 2015, were not necessary because the Petitioner was not present on
those dates. Although the Respondent might have benefitted from the interpreter’s services if
she had been present, the Petitioner was under no obligation to provide her with an interpreter
and there is no showing that she used the services of the interpreter.
The Court therefore will allow only the following costs as necessary expenses: filing and
service fees ($564.50); translation costs ($523.30); and interpreter services obtained on August 4
and August 18, 2015 ($850.00). Accordingly, the Petitioner’s Petition for Costs under 22 U.S.C.
§ 9007 is GRANTED. The Petitioner is awarded costs in the amount of $1,937.80.
Dated this 2nd day of February, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
Marcia S. Krieger
Chief United States District Judge
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