Llacua et al v. Western Range Association et al
ORDER Granting Defendant Mountain Plains Agriculture Service's 181 Motion to Review Award of Costs. Defendant Mountain Plains Agricultural Service is awarded costs in the amount of $543. By Judge Robert E. Blackburn on 06/12/2017. (athom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Robert E. Blackburn
Civil Case No. 15-cv-01889-REB-CBS
RODOLPHO LLACUA, et al., and those similarly situated,
WESTERN RANGE ASSOCIATION et al.,
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT MOUNTAIN PLAINS
AGRICULTURE SERVICE’S MOTION TO REVIEW AWARD OF COSTS
The matter before me is Defendant Mountain Plains Agriculture Services’
[sic] Motion To Review Award of Costs [#181],1 filed April 6, 2017. I grant the motion.
Allowable costs are delineated by 28 U.S.C. § 1920. The burden is on the
prevailing party to establish that the expenses it seeks to have taxed as costs are
authorized by section 1920. English v. Colorado Department of Corrections, 248
F.3d 1002, 1013 (10th Cir. 2001); Griffith v. Mt. Carmel Medical Center, 157 F.R.D.
499, 502 (D. Kan. 1994). Expenses not specifically authorized by the statute are not
recoverable as costs. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437,
441-42, 107 S.Ct. 2494, 2497, 96 L.Ed.2d 385 (1987); Bee v. Greaves, 910 F.2d 686,
690 (10th Cir. 1990).
“[#181]” is an example of the convention I use to identify the docket number assigned to a
specific paper by the court’s case management and electronic case filing system (CM/ECF). I use this
convention throughout this order.
Defendant, as a prevailing party in this lawsuit, sought $543.00 in costs for the
fees of three out-of-state counsel, who were required to become members of this court’s
bar in order to appear in this case. Relying on Golan v. Holder, 2009 WL 2475138 (D.
Colo. Aug. 11, 2009), the clerk of the court denied this request, concluding these items
were more properly characterized as “attorneys fees” and therefore not recoverable
under section 1920. (See Bill of Costs [#180], filed March 30, 2017.)
seeks review of that decision, insisting such fees are recoverable as “fees of the clerk.”
See 28 U.S.C. § 1920(1). It argues that “fees of the clerk” includes “such additional
fees . . . as are prescribed by the Judicial Conference of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§1914(b). The Judicial Conference’s “District Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule”
allows the clerk to “charge for services provided by the district courts,” including,
relevantly, up to $181 for fees “for original admission of attorneys to practice.” (See
United States Courts, Services & Forms, Fees, District Court Miscellaneous Fee
Schedule, Item 10 (eff. December 1, 2016)) (available at:
(last accessed June 7, 2017).
Defendant’s arguments are persuasive. It is true the majority of courts do not
allow recovery of pro hac vice fees as costs. See Awad v. Ziriax, 2014 WL 1572804 at
*1 n.2 (W.D. Okla. April 17, 2014); Smith v. Fresh Cut Floral and Catering, Inc., 2008
WL 4539630 at *2 (S.D. Miss. Oct. 7, 2008); Halliburton Co. v. Ward, 2007 WL
2702214 at *2 n.2 (W.D. Ky. Sept. 12, 2007). In so doing, these courts frequently point
out that “[t]he only admission fee relating to attorneys authorized by the Judicial
Conference of the United States is . . . for full and permanent, not just temporary,
admission to the bar of the court.” Eagle Insurance Co. v. Johnson, 982 F.Supp.
1456, 1459 (M.D. Ala. 1997), aff'd, 162 F.3d 98 (11th Cir. 1998). See also Awad, 2014
WL 1572804 at *1; Golan, 2009 WL 2475138 at *10; Smith, 2008 WL 4539630 at *2;
Halliburton Co., 2007 WL 2702214 at *2 n.2.
Indeed, “pro hac vice” literally means “[f]or this turn,” that is, “for this one
particular occasion.” Eagle Insurance Co., 982 F.Supp. at 1459 (quoting Black's Law
Dictionary at 1091 (1979)) (internal quotation marks omitted; alteration in original). “An
admission pro hac vice, therefore, means that a lawyer has been ‘admitted to practice in
a jurisdiction for a particular case only.’” Id. (quoting Black’s at 1091). See also
Frazier v. Heebe, 482 U.S. 641, 647, 107 S.Ct. 2607, 2612, 96 L.Ed.2d 557 (1987)
(characterizing attorneys appearing pro hac vice as “one-time or occasional
practitioners”); Mateo v. Empire Gas Co., 841 F.Supp.2d 574, 579 (D.P.R. 2012)
(“Admission pro hac vice is temporary and limited in character and is not intended to be
requested by a practitioner on a frequent basis.”) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted); Rudich v. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studio, Inc., 2008 WL 4693409 at *1 (W.D.
Wis. Aug. 27, 2008) (noting under local rules of district, “lawyers may be admitted pro
hac vice . . . without seeking admission into this court's bar”).2
By contrast, the District of Colorado emphatically does not provide for admission
pro hac vice. See United States District Court, District of Colorado, Attorney
In addition, pro hac vice fees typically are nominal. See, e.g., Halliburton Co., 2007 WL
2702214 at *2 ($65 fee for admission pro hac vice); Burton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 395
F.Supp.2d 1065, 1077 (D. Kan. 2005) ($10 fee for admission pro hac vice); Eagle Insurance Co., 982
F.Supp. at 1458 ($50 fee for admission pro hac vice).
Information, General Attorney Information, General Bar Admission
Information (available at: http://www.cod.uscourts.gov/AttorneyInformation/
GeneralAttorneyInformation.aspx) (last accessed June 7, 2017) (“PLEASE NOTE -THERE IS NO PRO HAC VICE ADMISSION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO.”).
Instead, “[a]ttorneys seeking to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of
Colorado must become members of the bar by completing an Application for Admission
to the Bar of the Court” and paying the same $216 fee for admission to the bar as any
other attorney seeking to practice in this district. See id. Once admitted, “an attorney’s
membership is valid unless and until terminated by the Court.” Id.
Given this somewhat unique aspect of practice in this district, the fee paid for
admission of out-of-state counsel to practice in this district is properly characterized as
“for original admission of attorneys to practice” as contemplated and authorized by the
Judicial Conference under the auspices of 28 U.S.C. §1914. Such fees thus are
recoverable as “fees of the clerk” under section 1920(1). Defendant’s motion
accordingly will be granted.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED as follows:
1. That Defendant Mountain Plains Agricultural Services’ [sic] Motion To
Review Award of Costs [#181], filed April 6, 2017, is granted;
2. That defendant Mountain Plains Agricultural Service is awarded costs in the
amount of $543.
Dated June 12, 2017, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
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?