Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gaines v. Techline Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

November 16, 2017

KENNETH B. GAINES
v.
TECHLINE, INC.

          DRELL JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is a Motion to Review and Dismiss Costs filed by Plaintiff Kenneth B. Gaines (“Gaines”) (Doc. 131). The Clerk of Court taxed costs submitted by Defendant Techline, Inc. (“Techline”) against Gaines as the losing party in this action (Doc. 130). Gaines's motion (Doc. 131) is denied.

         I. Gaines's Motion to Review and Dismiss Costs

         Gaines contends Techline's Bill of Costs should be reduced or denied because he lost his primary source of income when he was terminated from Techline, he was laid off from his church as a clergyman because of poor health, and he has been unable to obtain new employment (Doc. 131-2). Gaines contends he is in financial distress and his unfortunate circumstances are serious enough to justify the Court's exercise of its discretion in dismissing or reducing the amount of costs to be awarded to Defendants under Fed.R.Civ.P. rule 54(d)(1).

         Defendants argue they are the prevailing party, this case has been pending more than four years, and Gaines had a lot of time to evaluate whether he wanted to continue to proceed and risk being assessed costs in the event he was the non-prevailing party (Doc. 134).

         II. Law and Analysis

         Rule 54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs.” The trial court has broad discretionary powers in taxing costs, but its decision may be overturned if it abuses that discretion. See Walters v. Roadway Exp., Inc., 557 F.2d 521, 526 (5th Cir. 1977) (citing Harrington v. Texaco, Inc., 339 F.2d 814 (5th Cir. 1964), cert. denied, 381 U.S. 915 (1965)); see also Schwarz v. Folloder, 767 F.2d 125, 131 (5th Cir. 1985). While the rule does not prevent a trial court from requiring a prevailing party to bear its own costs, “the language of the rule reasonably bears the intendment that the prevailing party is prima facie entitled to costs and it is incumbent on the losing party to overcome that presumption . . . (since) denial of costs . . . is in the nature of a penalty for some defection on his part in the course of the litigation.” See Walters, 557 F.2d at 526 (citing Popeil Brothers v. Schick Electric, Inc., 516 F.2d 772, 775 (7th Cir. 1975)). Accordingly, when a trial court exacts such a penalty, it should state reasons for its decision. See Walters, 622 F.2d at 166 (prevailing defendant was taxed with come costs where court had the “distinct impression” that the cost of compiling the information was inflated by defendant's lack of diligence, and plaintiffs' cost of litigation was increased by the time and effort expended in this matter).

         The losing party's good faith is alone insufficient to justify the denial of costs to the prevailing party. See Pacheco v. Mineta, 448 F.3d 783, 795 (5th Cir. 2006), cert. den., 549 U.S. 888 (2006); see also Wade v. Peterson, 416 Fed.Appx. 354, 356 (5th Cir. 2011), cert. den., 565 U.S. 987 (2011). In the Fifth Circuit, courts may, but are not required to, excuse a losing party from paying costs only if he brought suit in good faith and can demonstrate at least one additional factor, such as:

(1) the losing party's limited financial resources;
(2) misconduct by the prevailing party;
(3) close and difficult legal issues presented;
(4) substantial benefit conferred to the public;
(5) the prevailing party's enormous financial ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.