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Stevens v. D.M. Bowman

January 15, 2009

NICOLE STEVENS, PLAINTIFF
v.
D.M. BOWMAN, INC., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry S. Perkin United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

The Defendant, D.M. Bowman, Inc., has asked this Court to review the Clerk's Taxation of Costs, entered September 4, 2008, awarding Plaintiff the amount of $3,221.50.*fn1 Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Objections to Taxed Costs was filed on October 13, 2008. After reviewing and considering the contentions of the parties, the Court is prepared to rule on this matter.

I. BACKGROUND

Having prevailed at trial from this personal injury action, Plaintiff, Nicole Stevens, on July 2, 2008, filed her bill of costs. Defendant filed objections to the bill of costs on July 7, 2008. Plaintiff filed a response to the objections on August 4, 2008. On September 4, 2008, the Clerk of Court entered judgment on taxation of costs in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $3,221.50.

In its appeal, Defendant initially sets forth a general objection to Plaintiff's claims for costs by contending that Plaintiff failed or refused to engage in reasonable settlement efforts conducted by this Court. Defendant's Memorandum at 1. Because of this alleged refusal, Defendant submits that Plaintiff is not entitled in whole or in part to any taxation of costs. In addition to its general objection, Defendant specifically seeks review of the Clerk's taxation of the following costs:

1. Service of summons-$279.85

2. Depositions-$1,967.20

3. Copies of medical records-$421.47

4. Exhibits-$122.98

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure*fn2 provides the standard for use in taxing costs in all cases. More specifically, Rule 54(d)(1) provides as follows:

Unless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party. But costs against the United States, its officers, and its agencies may be imposed only to the extent allowed by law. The clerk may tax costs on 1 day's notice. On motion served within the next 5 days, the court may review the clerk's action.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has noted that the language of Rule 54(d)(1) creates a strong presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party. In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Litig., 221 F.3d 449, 462 (3d Cir. 2000).

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920, a judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the following:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;

(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily ...


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