United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Glen E. Conrad Chief United States District Judge.
case is presently before the court on the defendant's
bill of costs, filed pursuant to Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, the
court will award the defendant costs in the amount of $4,
April 10, 2015, the plaintiff filed this action against the
defendant, her former employer, claiming that she was
subjected to gender discrimination, retaliation, and a
sexually hostile work environment, in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On June 14, 2016, the court
granted summary judgment to the defendant on the claims of
gender discrimination and retaliation. On August 3, 2016, a
jury found in favor of the defendant on the hostile work
environment claim. The following day, the court entered final
judgment in favor of the defendant. On April 18, 2017, the
judgment was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit.
case is now before the court on the defendant's request
for an award of costs in the amount of $6, 856.80. The matter
has been fully briefed and is ripe for review.
of the Applicable Law
Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, costs
'should be allowed to the prevailing party' unless a
federal statute provides otherwise." Williams v.
Metro Life Ins. Co., 609 F.3d 622, 636 (4th Cir. 2010)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1)). Thus, the rule "creates
the presumption that costs are to be awarded to the
prevailing party." Cherry v. Champion Int'l
Corp., 186 F.3d 442, 446 (4th Cir. 1999). Although the
court has the discretion to deny an award of costs, it must
"articulat[e] some good reason for doing so, " in
order to "overcome the presumption." Id.
(internal citation and quotation marks omitted). "Among
the factors that justify denying an award of costs are: (1)
misconduct by the prevailing party; (2) the unsuccessful
party's inability to pay the costs; (3) the excessiveness
of the costs in a particular case; (4) the limited value of
the prevailing party's victory; or (5) the closeness and
difficulty of the issues decided." Ellis v. Grant
Thornton LLP, 434 F.App'x 232, 235 (4th Cir. 2011).
Although the unsuccessful party's "good faith in
pursuing an action is a virtual prerequisite to receiving
relief from the normal operation of Rule 54(d)(1), that
party's good faith, standing alone, is an insufficient
basis for refusing to assess costs against that party."
Id. (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).
particular expenses that may be taxed as costs under Rule
54(d)(1) are set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. That statute
provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
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 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 ...