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Ranza v. Nike, Inc.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 9, 2013

LOREDANA RANZA, Plaintiff,
v.
NIKE, INC., an Oregon corporation, NIKE EUROPEAN OPERATIONS NETHERLANDS, B V. a foreign corporation, Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

JOHN V. ACOSTA, Magistrate Judge.

Defendants Nike, Inc. and Nike European Operations Netherlands, B.V. (collectively "Defendants"), seek $19, 417.13 in costs arising from the lawsuit filed against them by Plaintiff Loredana Ranza ("Ranza"). Ranza alleged claims of employment discrimination against Defendants and these claims were dismissed with prejudice for lack of personal jurisdiction over NEON and failure to state a claim against Nike or NEON under the ADEA or Title VII. Ranza opposes most of the costs sought by Defendants as outside the scope of recoverable costs. Defendants' cost bill should be granted in part and denied in part.

Legal Standard

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) (2013). Under Local Rule 54, a party seeking costs in this district must provide a "detailed itemization of all claimed costs. The prevailing party must file an affidavit and appropriate documentation." Local Rules of Civil Procedure, District of Oregon, Rule 54-1(a)(1).

"Rule 54(d) creates a presumption for awarding costs to prevailing parties; the losing party must show why costs should not be awarded." Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932, 944-945 (9th Cir. 2003). "By its terms, the rule creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs to a prevailing party, but vests in the district court discretion to refuse to award costs." Association of Mexican-American Educators v. California, 231 F.3d 572, 591 (9th Cir. 2000) (citing National Info. Servs., Inc. v. TRW, Inc., 51 F.3d 1470, 1471 (9th Cir. 1995)). The district court must give specific reasons for rejecting claimed costs. Id. at 591-592 (citing Subscription Television, Inc. v. Souther Cal. Theater Owners Assoc., 576 F.2d 230, 234 (9th Cir. 1978)).

The United States Code identifies six categories of recoverable costs:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this title.

28 U.S.C. § 1920 (2013). A court may not award costs beyond the scope of those authorized by section 1920. Kraft v. Arden, CV. 07-487-PK, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1527, at *7-8 (D. Or. Jan. 8, 2009) (citations omitted). "Courts, however, are free to construe the meaning and scope of the items enumerated as taxable costs in § 1920." Id. at *8. Ultimately, it is "incumbent upon the losing party to demonstrate why the costs should not be awarded." Stanley v. Univ. of S. California, 178 F.3d 1069, 1079 (9th Cir. 1999).

Discussion

Defendants' bill of costs seeks $1, 731.67 in costs for deposition and hearing transcripts, and $17, 685.46 in costs for exemplification and copying. With respect to fees associated with transcripts, the declaration states that the "copies were necessarily obtained for use in the abovecaptioned litigation." (Rosenbaum Affidavit ("Aff.") ¶ 2.) With respect to fees for document processing and copying, the affidavit states that the "copies were necessarily obtained for production requested by plaintiff and ordered by the Court in the above-captioned litigation" and that Ranza relied on them "in filing her opposition to Defendants' motion to dismiss." Id. at ¶ 3.

In support of the cost bill, Defendants submit an itemization chart for costs incurred between December 1, 2010, and March 5, 2013. The chart first identifies the transcripts for which charges were incurred and gives some additional detail, including the date, the cost, and a brief description of the transcript in question. Six entries describe deposition transcripts from nine depositions; three entries describe ...


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