United States District Court, D. Colorado
A. BRIMMER United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Stull Ranches' Motion to
Review Clerk's Taxing of Costs (Doc. 233) [Docket No.
234]. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
background facts have been set forth elsewhere and will not
be restated here except as relevant to resolving the present
matter. See Docket No. 173 at 1-5; Entek GRB,
LLC v. Stull Ranches, LLC, 763 F.3d 1252, 1253-54 (10th
Cir. 2014). Plaintiff Entek GRB, LLC (“Entek”)
asserted two claims for relief in this case. Plaintiff's
first claim for relief sought a declaration that it had the
right to: (1) stake, survey, drill, and develop well
locations on Stull's surface (“Count One”);
(2) use Stull's surface to reach well locations on
adjacent property if those wells will develop Entek's
mineral estate subjacent to Stull's surface (“Count
Two”); and (3) access all surface areas within the
unitized federal exploratory unit because of the unitization
agreement (“Count Three”). Docket No. 81 at
11-14. The second claim for relief was for a permanent
injunction. Id. at 14.
31, 2012, the parties filed cross motions for summary
judgment. Docket Nos. 146, 149. On March 29, 2013, the Court
ruled that Entek was entitled to summary judgment as to Count
One and that Stull was entitled to summary judgment as to
Count Two and Count Three. Docket No. 173 at 9-10, 20, 25.
Final Judgment entered accordingly. On April 25, 2013, Entek
filed a Notice of Appeal. Docket No. 175. On August 14, 2014,
the Tenth Circuit issued its opinion, holding that “the
Focus Ranch Unit Agreement has the effect of providing Entek
all the relief it seeks (under what it calls claim three),
” vacated the grant of summary judgment in Stull
Ranches' favor, and remanded the case for further
proceedings. Docket No. 185 at 15-16.
1, 2015, the Court granted Entek's summary judgment
motion as to Count Three and denied as moot its motion with
respect to Count One, Count Two, and plaintiff's claim
for injunctive relief. See Docket No. 212. Final
judgment in this matter entered in favor of Entek and against
defendant Stull Ranches, LLC (“Stull Ranches”) on
July 6, 2015. Docket No. 213. The Court awarded plaintiff its
costs in the July 6, 2015 final judgment. Id. at 2.
20, 2015, Entek submitted a proposed bill of costs seeking
costs in the amount of $52, 432.88. Docket No. 221. On August
24, 2015, Entek filed an amended bill of costs seeking costs
in the amount of $54, 872.90. Docket No. 231. On August 27,
2015, the Clerk of the Court awarded costs in the amount of
$36, 118.17. Docket No. 233 at 1.
September 3, 2015, Stull Ranches filed the instant motion.
Docket No. 234. Stull Ranches first argues that Entek should
not recover any costs because the case presented “close
and difficult” questions. Id. at 3. Stull
Ranches argues, in the alternative, that the Court should
apply “extra scrutiny of Entek's request for
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) provides that “[u]nless a
federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides
otherwise, costs - other than attorney's fees - should be
allowed to the prevailing party.” “[T]he taxing
of costs pursuant to Rule 54(d)(1) rests in the sound
judicial discretion of the trial court, and an abuse of that
discretion occurs only where the trial court bases its
decision on an erroneous conclusion of law or where there is
no rational basis in the evidence for the ruling.”
Allison v. Bank One-Denver, 289 F.3d 1223, 1248
(10th Cir. 2002) (internal citations omitted).
challenges the award of any costs, Docket No. 234 at 3, and,
in the alternative, challenges the clerk's award of (1)
$4, 278 in costs for copies while this case was on appeal,
id. at 3-4; (2) $13, 766 in costs for data
processing fees, id. at 4-6; (3) $1, 381 in costs
for copies for the preliminary injunction hearing,
id. at 6; and (4) $18, 438 in “costs not
specifically identified.” Id. at 6-7.
1920 of Title 28 provides that the Clerk of Court may tax the
following items as costs awarded ...