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Robin Morrow v. Verizon Pennsylvania

May 16, 2011

ROBIN MORROW, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VERIZON PENNSYLVANIA, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McVerry, J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

Presently before the Court is the MOTION TO RECONSIDER CLERK OF COURT'S TAXATION OF COSTS, with brief in support, filed by Plaintiff, Robin Morrow (Document Nos. 67 and 68), and the RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION filed by Defendant Verizon Pennsylvania, Inc. (Document No. 70).

For the reasons stated below, the Motion to Reconsider will be granted in part and denied in part.

Procedural History

Plaintiff, Robin Morrow, initiated this lawsuit on June 10, 2009, by the filing of a Complaint in which she asserted claims against Defendant, Verizon Pennsylvania, Inc., ("Verizon") for allegedly violating her rights to be free of retaliation, discrimination, and interference under the Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2615(a)(2) and (a)(1) ("FMLA"). On February 22, 2011, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of Verizon finding that Plaintiff had not produced sufficient evidence from which a reasonable factfinder could conclude that Verizon violated her rights to be free from retaliation, discrimination and/or interference under the FMLA.

On March 8, 2011, Defendant filed a Bill of Costs in the amount of $2,841.57. Plaintiff filed Objections to the Bill of Costs arguing that awarding costs to Defendant would result in inequity because (i) her claims were not unfounded, frivolous, or brought or pursued in bad faith; and (ii) taxing her with costs would have a chilling effect on those who believe they have sufficient grounds to take legal action against an employer or former employer.

After careful consideration of the submitted Bill of Costs, the objection and response, and a review of the record, the Clerk of Court on April 21, 2011, issued his Taxation of Costs (Document No. 66). The Clerk of Court determined that Defendant's costs should be taxed in the full requested amount of $2,841.57.

On April 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Reconsider Clerk of Court's Taxation of Costs (Document No. 67), to which Defendant has responded (Document No. 70). In addition to the arguments that Plaintiff raised to the Clerk of Court, she now also argues that the Court should deny the taxation of costs against her because she "does not have the financial means to pay for such costs." Br. at 1.

Standard of Review

The taxation of costs by the clerk of court is subject to de novo review by the district court. Reger v. Nemours Found. Inc., 599 F.3d 285, 288 (3d Cir. 2010).

Federal 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." Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1). The Rule, as stated, is mandatory, and creates a "strong presumption" that all costs authorized for payment will be awarded to the prevailing party. Reger v. Nemours Found. Inc., 599 F.3d 285, 288 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Lit., 21 F.3d 449, 461 (3d Cir. 2000)). "The losing party, therefore, bears the burden of showing why costs should not be taxed against it." Adams v. Teamsters Local 115, 678 F.Supp.2d 314, 324 (E.D. Pa. 2007).

The court may assess the following costs:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;

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


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