United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
714 VENTURES, INC.
NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO, L.P.
NOW, this 24th day of August 2017, upon
considering Plaintiffs unopposed Motion to review the
Clerk's determination of taxed costs (ECF Doc. No. 81),
it is ORDERED Plaintiffs Motion (ECF Doc.
No. 81) is GRANTED in part and
DENIED in part as we reduce Mr. Mann's
airfare to $700 resulting in reducing the costs awarded to
National Oilwell from $2, 263.12 to $2, 005.00.
entered final judgment on December 14, 2016.National Oilwell
Varco moved for costs and 714 Ventures, Inc. objected. The
Clerk of Court awarded costs $2, 263.12 and 714 Ventures
timely moved for review of the Clerk's determination of
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) provides "[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..." The Local Rules
provide "[w]hile there is no strict deadline for filing
a bill of costs with the Court, a bill of costs must be filed
within a reasonable period of time, which should be no later
than 45 days after a final judgment is entered by the
review de novo the Clerk's determination as his
role under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 is "essentially
ministerial." We "retain the discretion to assess
independently the factual record, whether the record consists
of new evidence or old." Rule 54(d) "creates a
'strong presumption' that all costs authorized for
payment will be awarded to the prevailing
party." "The losing party, therefore, bears
the burden of showing why costs should not be taxed against
it." We retain discretion to "refuse to
tax costs in favor of the prevailing
Objection to timeliness of National Oilwell Varco's bill
Ventures objects to the Clerk's award of costs because
National Oilwell filed its Bill of Costs outside the
reasonable 45 day limit set by this District. We addressed
and overruled 714 Ventures' objection in our May 30, 2017
Order: "Local Civil Rule 54B.2 focuses on reasonableness
and does not set a compulsory deadline" and National
Oilwell's "delay of approximately ninety (90) days
is not unreasonable given the number of identified costs and
[714 Ventures] demonstrates no prejudice in the delayed Bill
of Costs.. ."
Objection to costs for Jeffrey Mann's video
Ventures objects to the Clerk's award of $1, 260.12 in
costs for airfare and video deposition of Jeffery Mann
because 714 Ventures agreed to his video deposition as a
professional courtesy so Mr. Mann would not need to cancel a
Oilwell offered Mr. Mann's video deposition at trial.
"Costs related to depositions are recoverable when the
depositions are "reasonably necessary" for trial or
actual trial preparation." We deny 714 Ventures'
request to disallow all costs related to Jeffery Mann's
video deposition because National Oilwell used the video
deposition at trial.
Ventures further objects to the $985.12 airfare because
National Oilwell only submitted Mr. Mann's unissued
airline itinerary which is not "a receipt or other
evidence of actual cost." 714 Ventures also argues Mr.
Mann's "last minute, same day flight" is not
the most reasonable, economical rate available. National
Oilwell submitted Mr. Mann's itinerary for a non-stop
roundtrip from Houston to Pittsburgh for December 6, 2016. It
offers no receipt or evidence of costs. The itinerary shows
Mr. Mann booked the flight on November 30, 2016.
the itinerary sufficient evidence of actual cost because Mr.
Mann flew to Pittsburgh on December 6, 2016 for his
deposition. But we also find the $985.12 fare is not the most
economically reasonable rate because Mr. Mann did not make
his reservation until November 30, 2016. On October 25, 2016,
we scheduled trial for December 12, 2016.Counsel for
National Oilwell should have known he needed to depose Mr.
Mann well before November 30, 2016. Our independent research
shows a single day round trip non-stop flight from Houston to
Pittsburgh booked approximately a month in advance costs
between $580 to $1, 000. We find Mr. Mann's $985.12 fare
is not the most economically reasonable fare and reduce the
award to $700.
Objection to Keith Vinson's lodging ...