United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT MOUNTAIN PLAINS AGRICULTURE
SERVICE'S MOTION TO REVIEW AWARD OF COSTS
E. Blackburn United States District Judge
matter before me is Defendant Mountain Plains Agriculture
Services' [sic] Motion To Review Award of Costs [#181],
filed April 6, 2017. I grant the motion.
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).
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.) Defendant 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))
(last accessed June 7, 2017).
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.
“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
contrast, the District of Colorado emphatically does not
provide for admission pro hac vice. See
United States District Court, District of Colorado, Attorney
Information, General Attorney Information, General Bar
Admission Information (available at:
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.
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.
IT IS ORDERED as follows:
Defendant Mountain Plains Agricultural Services' [sic]
Motion To Review Award of Costs [#181], filed April 6, 2017,
defendant Mountain Plains Agricultural Service is awarded
costs in the amount of $543.
 “[#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 ...