Crowder v. Andreu, Palma, Lavin & Solis, PLLC
ORDERED: Defendant's Petition for Costs (Doc. 86) is DENIED. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 6/4/2021. (AEH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
LAUREN CROWDER, individually
and on behalf of similarly situated
Case No: 2:19-cv-820-SPC-NPM
ANDREU, PALMA, LAVIN &
Before the Court is Defendant Andreu, Palma, Lavin & Solis, PLLC’s
(“APLS”) Petition for Costs. (Doc. 86). Also here is Plaintiff Lauren Crowder’s
response (Doc. 87) and APLS’ reply (Doc. 90). Crowder sued for Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) violations.
The Court granted APLS
summary judgment because Crowder lacked standing. Now, APLS seeks costs.
28 U.S.C. § 1919 states, “Whenever any action or suit is dismissed in any
district court . . . for want of jurisdiction, such court may order the payment of
just costs.” See also Rabco Corp. v. Steele Plaza, LLC, No. 6:16-cv-1858-Orl-
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40LRH, 2019 WL 5188601, at *16 (M.D. Fla. July 29, 2019). “There is broad
discretion under § 1919, particularly as the statute is permissive in that the
Court ‘may’ grant costs, and the costs themselves are qualified by the word
‘just.’” Ali v. Prestige Window & Door Installation, LLC, 626 F. Supp. 2d 1259,
1262 (S.D. Fla. 2009). “The statutory language alone, then, gives the Court
leeway to award costs or not award costs as it sees fit.” Id.; see also Otay Land
Co. v. United Enterprises Ltd., 672 F.3d 1152, 1156 (9th Cir. 2012). Some
courts define “just costs” as those “most fair and equitable under the totality of
the circumstances.” Otay, 672 F.3d at 1157.
Importantly, there is a “fundamental distinction between awarding costs
under § 1919 and under § 1920 and Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d).”
Farmland Indus., Inc., 139 F.3d 1336, 1340 n.8 (10th Cir. 1998).
prevailing parties enjoy a presumption of costs under § 1920, those who win
under § 1919 do not. Id.
APLS wants the following costs:
1. $518 for the Deposition of Juan Andreu;
2. $430.15 for the Deposition of Melanine Weseman; and
3. $1,301.25 for the Deposition of Lauren Crowder.
APLS says “these transcripts and their associated costs were necessary
to obtain the order of dismissal on summary judgment.”
(Doc. 86 at 4).
Although the deposition transcripts of Andreu and Weseman were relevant to
the merits, they were irrelevant to standing (i.e., the jurisdictional issue on
which the Court dismissed).
Had the Court evaluated the merits, the
depositions might have been necessary. Because none of these costs related to
the jurisdictional issue, the Court does not find their award appropriate. With
those two items out, the Court turns to the remaining deposition: Crowder’s.
Again, the dismissal was for lack of standing. And Crowder’s deposition
was central to that decision. But standing is an ever-shifting landscape these
The summary judgment Order noted how difficult many standing
questions are—particularly when (as here) the injury is emotional distress.
Considering the unsettled law, relevant equities, and facts of the case, the
Court does not find a cost award for Crowder’s deposition just. See Laufer v.
Patel, No. 1:20-CV-631-RP, 2021 WL 796163, at *6 (W.D. Tex. Mar. 2, 2021)
(denying § 1919 costs given an unsettled standing question). What is most fair
and equitable here is for each side to bear their own costs.
Accordingly, it is now
Defendant’s Petition for Costs (Doc. 86) is DENIED.
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida on June 4, 2021.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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