CASE NO. 07-80973-CIV-ZLOCH.
February 3, 2009
THIS MATTER is before the Court upon Defendants' Verified Motion For costs (DE 72). The Court has carefully reviewed said Motion and the entire court file and is otherwise fully advised in the premises.
By prior Order (DE 69), Final Judgment was entered in favor of Defendants and against Plaintiff in this action, which proceeds under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq. (2006). Defendants now move to recover their costs incurred in the successful defense of this action.
Defendants first seek $5,102.10 in fees for transcripts. Court reporter fees and transcript costs are taxable in favor of the prevailing party if the transcripts are necessarily obtained for use in the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1920(2). Defendants seek to recover the costs of Plaintiff and Abdalraham K. Amin's depositions taken in Plaintiff's unrelated worker's compensation matter. These costs totaled $863.00. DE 72, Ex. A, pp. 3-4. The depositions were used at trial to impeach witnesses; however, the Court finds that only a portion of these deposition costs should be taxed, since they were mostly about the unrelated worker's compensation matters. Defendants did not file a Reply in support of the instant Motion to argue what would be a proper division of these costs. Therefore, the charges for Plaintiff and Mr. Amin's depositions, both given in the worker's compensation action, will be reduced by 20%. The Court finds that the other transcript costs are properly taxable. Thus, Defendants will recover $4,929.50 in transcript and court reporter costs.
Defendants next seek $520.00 in witness subpoenas, which includes $180.00 in "priority" charges. DE 72, Ex. A, pp. 7-11. Defendants have not established why Plaintiff should be made to pay for the priority charges, over and above the normal witness subpoena charge taxable in § 1920. This item will be reduced to $340.00.
Defendants also seek to recover $540.00 in interpreter fees for an Arabic interpreter employed for the deposition of Mr. Amin, a witness for Plaintiff. Plaintiff points out in his Response (DE 79) that Mr. Amin responded to questions posed to him in English and spoke English during the deposition, and while testifying at the worker's compensation proceeding, and in trial in this matter. Moreover, Mr. Amin executed in English a Declaration (DE 24, Ex. B) filed in this action. Without benefit of a Reply in support of their Motion to counter Plaintiff's arguments, the Court finds that the fees for the Arabic translator should not be taxed to Plaintiff.
Next, Defendants seek to recover $456.25, representing their half of the invoice for mediation services. The Court notes that the cost of mediation is not enumerated in § 1920, and only those costs enumerated in § 1920 are recoverable under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Glenn v. General Motors Corp., 841 F.2d 1567, 1574-75 (11th Cir. 1988). Therefore, the Court shall deny this claim for $456.25 in costs. See Brisco-Wade v. Carnahan, 297 F.3d 781, 782-83 (8th Cir. 2002).
Finally, the Court finds that all other costs sought by Defendants, including witness fees in the amount of $160.93 and copying costs in the amount of $383.35, are reasonable and will be taxed.
Accordingly, after due consideration, it is
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:
1. Defendants' Verified Motion For costs (DE 72) be and the same is hereby GRANTED; and
2. Defendants do have and recover from Plaintiff the sum of $5,813.78 in costs, for all of which let execution issue.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida.