United States District Court, D. Colorado
NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURGH, PA, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
A. BRIMMER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on National Union's Motion to
Review Taxation of Costs [Docket No. 801] filed by plaintiff
National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA.
case arose out of a hard-fought insurance coverage dispute.
Docket No. 1. Ultimately, the Court entered summary judgment
in favor of plaintiff on its declaratory judgment claim and
on defendant's counterclaims, which included claims under
Colorado law. Docket No. 785. On September 30, 2016, final
judgment was entered. Docket No. 786.
October 14, 2016, plaintiff filed a proposed bill of costs,
seeking $647, 198.44. Docket No. 788. On October 27, 2016,
the Clerk of Court held a hearing on plaintiff's bill of
costs and verbally indicated what costs were recoverable.
Docket No. 801 at 5. On November 14, 2016, the Clerk of Court
entered a written taxation of $53, 363.67 in costs. Docket
No. 798. The Clerk of the Court awarded costs only pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and, through an apportionment,
awarded only one-third of some amounts sought based on there
originally being three defendant groups. Id. at 2.
On November 21, 2016, plaintiff filed its motion for review.
Docket No. 801. After withdrawing some costs, plaintiff now
seeks $506, 564.70. Docket No. 803 at 10.
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). Rule 54
“creates a presumption that the district court will
award costs to the prevailing party.” Cantrell v.
Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, AFL-CIO, Local 2021, 69
F.3d 456, 459 (10th Cir. 1995) (citing Serna v.
Manzano, 616 F.2d 1165, 1167 (10th Cir. 1980)). The
Court's discretion to award or deny costs is restrained
by the requirement that “it must provide a valid reason
for not awarding costs to a prevailing party.”
Cantrell, 69 F.3d at 459 (citing Serna, 616
F.2d at 1167-68).
1920 of Title 28 provides that the Clerk of Court may tax the
following items as costs awarded pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts
necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies
of any material where the copies are necessarily obtained for
use in the case;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of
interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of
special interpretation services ...