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Frazier v. Honda of America Mfg.

March 21, 2007

RONALD C. FRAZIER PLAINTIFF,
v.
HONDA OF AMERICA MFG., INC. DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Marbley

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Memorandum opposing the Clerk's award of costs to Defendant.

After reviewing Defendant's Bill of Costs, the Clerk of this Court determined that Defendant, as the prevailing party, was entitled to the payment of certain costs by the Plaintiff pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920.*fn1 The Clerk awarded Defendant costs in the amount of $3,162.25. In its Motion, Plaintiff asks this Court to reverse the Clerk's award of costs to Defendant.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 54 (d) (1) provides that "costs other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs[.]" The Sixth Circuit has held that this rule creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs, but allows the trial court to deny costs at its discretion. Knowlogy, Inc. v. Insight Communications Co., 460 F.3d 722, 726 (6th Cir. 2006).

Trial courts must base their decision to award or deny costs on factors enumerated in White & White, Inc. v. American Hospital Supply Corp., 786 F.2d 728 (6th Cir. 1986). The White & White factors, which were recently affirmed in Knowlogy , 460 F.3d at 729, were more clearly restated in question form by this Court in Rosser v. Pipefitters Union Local 392, 885 F. Supp.1068, 1071--72 (S.D. Ohio 1995). The factors a court must take into account when awarding or denying costs are:

a) Were the taxable expenditures unnecessary to the case or unreasonably large?

b) Should the prevailing party be penalized for unnecessarily prolonging trial or for injecting unmeritorious issues?

c) Was the prevailing party's victory so insignificant that the judgment amount to a victory for the opponent?

d) Was the case close and difficult?

e) Did the losing party act reasonably and in good faith in filing, prosecuting or defending the case?

f) Did the losing party conduct the case with propriety?

g) Have other courts denied costs to prevailing defendants in similar cases?

h) Did the prevailing party benefit ...


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