United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
BARK, an Oregon non-profit corporation, FRIENDS OF MOUNT HOOD, an Oregon non-profit corporation, NORTHWEST ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE CENTER, an Oregon non-profit corporation, and SIERRA CLUB, a California non-profit corporation, Plaintiffs,
LISA NORTHROP, Acting Forest Supervisor of the Mt. Hood National Forest, BILL WESTBROOK, Zigzag District Ranger, KENT CONNAUGHTON, Regional Forester for Region 6, and the UNITED STA TES FOREST SERVICE, a federal Agency; WILLIAM STELLE, Regional Director of the West Coast Region, and the NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, Defendants, RLK AND COMPANY, an Oregon corporation, Defendant-Intervenor.
OPINION AND ORDER
AIKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
filed suit under the Administrative Procedures Act
("APA"), alleging violations of the National
Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), the National
Forest Management Act ("NFMA"), and the Endangered
Species Act ("ESA") by federal defendants United
States Forest Service ("the Forest Service") and
National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS").
Previously, the Court denied plaintiffs' Motions for
Summary Judgment and granted federal defendants' and
defendant-intervenor, RLK's, Cross Motions for Summary
Judgment, (docs. 192 and 230) On March 31, 2018, the Court
entered a Final Judgment, formally dismissing this action. As
prevailing parties, federal defendants and
defendant-intervener have timely sought costs pursuant
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) and 28 U.S.C. §
1920. (docs. 233 and 234) Plaintiffs object to both Bills of
Costs on the basis of individual line-items and equitable
grounds. I conclude that plaintiffs have not met their burden
to overcome the presumption of awarding costs to the
prevailing party. Accordingly, I GRANT federal defendants
costs in the amount of $7, 030.41 and defendant-intervenor
costs in the amount of $591.75.
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).
"Costs" taxable under Rule 54(d) "are limited
to those set forth in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1920 and
1821." Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v.
Entm't Distrib., 429 F.3d 869, 885 (9th Cir. 2005),
(citing Crawford Fitting Co. v. J. T. Gibbons, Inc.,
482 U.S. 437, 445 (1987)). 28 U.S.C. § 1920, provides
that the court may tax as 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
28 U.S.C. § 1920.
creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs to the
prevailing party. See e.g., Ass'n of Mex.-Am.
Educators v. California, 231 F.3d 572, 592-93 (9th Cir.
2000). "[I]f a district court wishes to depart from that
presumption, it must explain why so that the appellate court
will be able to determine whether or not the trial court
abused its discretion, ..[and] explain why a case is not
ordinary." Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit,
335 F.3d 932, 945 (9th Cir. 2003) (quotation marks and
citation omitted). When exercising its discretion in to deny
costs, Courts should consider the following factors: (1)
whether the suit was brought in the public interest, (2) the
limited financial resources of the losing party, (3) whether
the suit was brought in good faith and whether the claims had
merit, and (4) the chilling effect that imposing costs may
have on future litigants. Ass'n of Mex.-Am.
Educators, 231 F.3d at 591-593.
district court, however, "needs no affirmatively
expressed reason to tax costs. Rather, it need only conclude
that the reasons advanced by the party bearing the burden-the
losing party-are not sufficiently persuasive to overcome the
presumption," Id. at 946. Courts are free to
construe the meaning and scope of the items enumerated as
taxable costs in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Alflex Corp. v.
Underwriters Lab., Inc.,914 F.2d 175, 177 (9th Cir.
1990). The district court retains broad discretion to decide
how much to award, if anything. Padgett v.
Loventhal,706 F.3d 1205, 1209 (9th Cir. 2013).
Ultimately, it is "incumbent upon the ...