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No Costs for Winning Defendant

A union that successfully defended against a member’s breach of contract/duty of fair representation suit loses its bid for $574 in costs from plaintiff for attorney pro hac admission expenses and copying and transcript costs, primarily because the union filed its bill of costs too late or in the wrong court, a Norfolk U.S. District Court says.

Plaintiff first objects to the union’s request for pre-appeal costs incurred in this court. Local Civil Rule 54 provides that a party entitled to costs in this court shall file a bill of costs as provided in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1920 and 1924 within 11 days from the entry of judgment, unless the court extends the time. The union did not file its bill of costs until Nov. 9, 2015, more than a year after judgment was entered. The union’s request for costs for $150 for pro hac vice attorney admission, $30.80 for copies related to a motion to dismiss, and a $36 filing fee for two Certificates of Good Standing related to attorney admission, are denied as untimely.

Plaintiff also objects to the union’s request for costs incurred in the 4th Circuit. Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 39 requires a bill of costs to be filed with the court within 14 days of entry of judgment; here, judgment was entered Oct. 8, 2015, and the union filed its bill on Nov. 9, 2015, and failed to file the bill with the circuit clerk. The court denies the motion for copying costs for the union’s appellate brief and appendix, filed in the district court.

The union also seeks $216 for 4th Circuit attorney admission fees. However, Appellate Rule 39 does not include attorney admissions fees as allowable costs. That request is denied.

Finally, the court denies the union’s only remaining costs item, $67.50 for the summary judgment transcript. The union only purchased a copy of the transcript. As plaintiff had already ordered the transcript and it was included in the joint appendix, the union’s copy was not needed to determine the appeal. Plaintiff’s objection is sustained.

Batton v. Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO (Davis) No. 2:13cv426, Jan. 14, 2016; USDC at Norfolk, Va.; Richard F. Hawkins III for plaintiff; SuAnne H. Bryant for CWA. VLW 016-3-024, 8 pp.

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