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Shaw v. Hilton Garden Inn

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio

October 17, 2017

MILDRED SHAW, Plaintiff,
v.
HILTON GARDEN INN, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOCS. 45, 46, 47]

          JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         With this opinion, the Court addresses whether it should tax costs to Plaintiff Mildred Shaw, the non-prevailing party in this litigation.

         On September 18, 2017, Defendant Hotel 1100 Carnegie Opco LP prevailed on summary judgment in the underlying litigation.[1] On October 2, 2017, Defendant filed a motion for costs pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1).[2] Plaintiff opposes.[3]

         For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion for costs.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) states 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.” There is a presumption in favor of awarding costs to a prevailing party, [4] and the non-prevailing party has the burden of overcoming the presumption.[5]

         Nevertheless, district courts retain broad discretion to deny costs.[6]

         To determine whether costs should be denied to the prevailing party, the Court can consider “the losing party's good faith, the difficulty of the case, the winning party's behavior, and the necessity of the costs.”[7]

         The Sixth Circuit has stated that Rule 54(d) allows the Court to address situations where “it would be inequitable under all the circumstances in the case to put the burden of costs upon the losing party.”[8]

         II. ANALYSIS

         The Court, in its discretion, concludes that Defendant is not entitled to their costs. Plaintiff's good faith in conjunction with the case's difficulty weigh in favor of denying costs to Defendant.[9]

         A. Good Faith

         Defendant argues that Plaintiff's good faith is irrelevant to the Court's inquiry and that, even if it were, Plaintiff's claims were not reasonable or supported by evidence.[10] Plaintiff states that she brought this case in good faith because she had viable claims concerning damages she suffered.[11]

         The Sixth Circuit permits the Court to consider “the good faith a losing party demonstrates in filing, ...


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