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Flournoy v. CML-GA WB, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division

May 17, 2017

PATRICIA C. FLOURNOY, Plaintiff,
v.
CML-GA WB, LLC; RIALTO CAPITAL ADVISORS, LLC; REX PROPERTY AND LAND, LLC; and PAUL GREGORY KING, Defendants.

          ORDER

          J. RANDAL HALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF JUDGE

         As prevailing parties, Defendants in this case move for costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54. Because Plaintiff does not object to REX Property and Land, LLC's and Paul King's bill of costs, their request is GRANTED. But because Plaintiff raises meritorious objections to CML-GA WB, LLC's and Rialto Capital Advisors! LLC's (the "Rialto Defendants'') bill of costs, their request is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         I. Background

         The Court granted summary judgment in this case in December 2015. (Doc. 62.) Plaintiff appealed! that ruling in January 2016. (Doc. 65.) Around the same time, Defendants moved the j Court to tax costs, but the Court deferred ruling on those requests until the Eleventh Circuit issued its decision. (Doc. 83.) The Eleventh Circuit has now affirmed this Court's grant of summary judgment, and Defendants have renewed their requests for costs.

         II. Discussion

         Under Rule 54(d), prevailing parties are entitled to certain costs. But the Court's authority to tax costs is statutorily limited to

(1) [f]ees of the clerk and marshal; (2) [f]ees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case; (3) [f]ees and disbursements for printing and witnesses; (4) [f]ees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case; (5) [d]ocket fees under [28 U.S.C. § 1923]; [and] (6) [c]ompensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under [28 U.S.C. § 1828].

28 U.S.C. § 1920.

         A. The Rialto Defendants' Costs

         The Rialto Defendants ask the Court to award $8, 151.87 in costs: (1) $259.16 in clerk fees; (2) $4, 142.79 in transcript fees; (3) $2, 103.20 in printing fees; (4) $101.47 in witness fees; and (5) $1, 545.25 in fees paid to a private investigator. (Doc. 86-1.) Plaintiff objects to the $2, 103.20 in printing fees and the $1, 545.25 paid to the private investigator.

         I

         a. Private-Investigator Fees

         Plaintiff argues that private-investigator fees are not recoverable as costs because they are not listed in § 1920. See North v. Mayo Grp. Dev., LLC, No. 3: ll-cv-444-J-32 JBT, 2013 WL 3461932, at *3 (M.D. Fla. July 9, 2013) ("This Court and others have held that [fees paid to private investigators] are not taxable as costs under § 1920."). The Rialto Defendants concede this point (doc. 89 at 1), and the Court thus DENIES their request for this cost.

         b. C ...


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