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U.S. objections to application for costs - Log Cabin Republicans

U.S. objections to application for costs - Log Cabin Republicans

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Published by George W. Conk
The Log Cabin Republicans prevailed in the trial court, which invited an application for costs and fees. The United States objected - because the ruling is stayed pending appeal. Now the matter is partially mooted out by repeal of the challenged statute.
The Log Cabin Republicans prevailed in the trial court, which invited an application for costs and fees. The United States objected - because the ruling is stayed pending appeal. Now the matter is partially mooted out by repeal of the challenged statute.

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Published by: George W. Conk on Mar 10, 2011
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03/10/2011

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ase2:04-cv-08425-VAP-EDocument285Filed
11/04/10
Page1of7PageID#:881
1TONYWESTAssistantAttorn~General2ANDREBIROTTE,Jr.UnitedStatesAttorney3JOSEPHH.HUNTVINCENTM.GARVEY4PAULG.FREEBORNEW.SCOTTSIMPSON5JOSHUAE.GARDNERRYANB.PARKER6U.S.DepartmentofJusticeCivilDIvision7FederalProgramsBranchP.O.Box8838Washington,D.C.20044Telephone:(202)353-0543
9Facsimile:
(202)616-8460E-mail:paul.freeborne@usdoj.gov10
AttorneysforDefendantsUnitedStates
11
ofAmericaandSecretaryofDefense
12UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTFORTHECENTRALDISTRICTOFCALIFORNIA13EASTERNDIVISION14LOGCABINREPUBLICANS,No.CV04-8425VAP(Ex)1516Plaintiff,DEFENDANTS'OBJECTIONSTOPLAINTIFF'SBILLOFCOSTSv.17UNITEDSTATESOFAMERICAANDROBERTM.GATES,Secretaryof18Defense,19202122232425262728Defendants.
DEFENDANTS'OBJECTIONSTOPLAINTIFF'SBILLOFCOSTSUNITEDSTATESDEPARTMENTOFJUSTICECIVILDIVISION,FEDERALPROGRAMSBRANCP.O.
Box883,BEN
FRANKLIN
STATIONVVASHINGTON,D.C.20044(202)353-0543
 
ase2:04-cv-08425-VAP-EDocument285Filed
11/04/10
Page2of7PageID#:881
1INTRODUCTION
2DefendantsobjecttoPlaintiffsApplicationforCosts("application").Asa3thresholdmatter,anyassessmentofcostsinthiscaseisinappropriate.Thiscase4presentsaconstitutionalchallengetoafederalstatute,10U.S.C.§654,and5regulationsthatimplementthemilitarypolicycommonlyreferredtoas"Don't6Ask,Don'tTell."Giventheimportanceandcomplexityoftheconstitutional7issuespresented,anyawardofcostsisinappropriate.Inaddition,Defendantshave8appealedtheDistrictCourt'sdecision,andanyconsiderationofPlaintiffs9Applicationshouldawaitfinalappellateresolution.Becausetheappealmayvery10wellresultinthereversaloftheCourt'srulingsandjudgment,interestsofjudicial11economyweighstronglyinfavorofawaitingfinalappellateresolutionbefore12PlaintiffsapplicationforcostsisconsideredbytheClerkorCourt.13Ataminimum,thecostsclaimedbyPlaintiffintheapplicationshouldbe14reduced.
First,
theairfareoftwoofPlaintiffswitnesses,PhillipBradley15($1,159.58)andChristopherM.Meekins($1,819.40),wellexceedtheamount16chargedforthefaresofotherwitnesses.BecausePlaintiffhasfailedtoshowthat17theserateswerethemosteconomicalratesreasonablyavailabletoPlaintiff,as18requiredby28U.S.C.§1821,neitherchargeisappropriatelytaxedtoDefendants.
19Second,
whileCounselhascertifiedthatPlaintiffincurredcopyingcostsat20fourteencentsperpageforpretrialfilings,totaling$2,147.20,seeExhibit5Ato21Doc.279-1,theonlysupportPlaintiffoffersforsuchcostsisaprintoutofthe22docketfromPacer.AndCounsel'scertificationthatthebestcopyingratethatwas23availabletoPlaintiffwasfourteencentsperpageisbeliedbytheverynextexhibit24toPlaintiffsBillofCosts,whichshowsthatwhenitcametimetocopyPlaintiffs25trialexhibits,Counselwasabletoobtainaneightcentsperpagecopyingrate.26Doc.279-1,Exhibit5B.Thetotalamountchargedforcopyingpretrialfilings27accordinglyshouldbereducedtocorrespondtotheeightcentperpageratethat28
-1-
UNITEDSTATESDEPARTMENTOFJUSTICECIVILDIVISION,FEDERALPROGRAMSBRANCP.O.
Box883,BEN
FRANKLIN
STATIONVVASHINGTON,D.C.20044(202)353-0543
DEFENDANTS'OBJECTIONSTOPLAINTIFF'SBILLOFCOSTS
 
ase2:04-cv-08425-VAP-EDocument285Filed
11/04/10
Page3of7PageID#:881
1wasreadilyavailabletoPlaintiff.Applyingthatratereducesthecostofcopying2the3,501pagesfrom$490.14to$280.08.3Finally,Plaintiffchargesforthecolorreproductionof468pagesof4Plaintiffstrialexhibits.SeeDoc.279-1,Exhibit5B.BecausePlaintiffhasfailed5tocarryitsburdenofdemonstratingthatthecolorreproductionofexhibitswas6necessarytotheadjudicationofthiscase,the$353.25costofsuchreproduction7shouldbedisallowed,furtherreducingtheamountoftheapplication.
8ARGUMENT9I.Objection:NoCostsShouldBeChargedHereGiventheImportant
10
AndComplexLegalIssuesPresentedInThisConstitutionalChallenge
11Fed.R.Civ.P.54(d)(1)providesthatcostsotherthanattorneys'feesshall12beallowedasamatterofcoursetotheprevailingpartyunless"acourtprovides13otherwise."Byitsterms,therefore,theDistrictCourthasdiscretiontorefuseto14awardcosts.SaveOurValleyv.SoundTransit,335F.3d932,945-946(9thCir.152003);Ass'nofMexican-AmericanEducatorsv.California,231F.3d572,591-16593(9thCir.2000).Thus,whereacaseinvolvesissuesofsubstantialpublic17importance,seeAss'nofMexican-AmericanEducators,231F.3dat593,orwhere18thelegalissuesarecloseandcomplex,seeSaveOurValley,335F.3dat946,the19DistrictCourthasthediscretiontodenyanyawardofcostsunderRule54.20Thiscasepresentsaconstitutionalchallengetoafederalstatute,10U.S.C.21§654,andimplementingregulationsthatarecommonlyreferredtoasthe"Don't22Ask,Don'tTell"policy,whichareofsubstantialpublicimportance.Furthermore,23whiletheDistrictCourthasfoundthestatuteandimplementingregulationstobe24unconstitutional,thelawatissuehasbeenfoundconstitutionalinnumerousother25courtsthroughoutthecountry.SeeCookv.Gates,528F.3d42(1stCir.2008);26Ablev.UnitedStates,155F.3d628,631-36(2dCir.1998);Richenbergv.Perry,2797F.3d256,260-62(8thCir.1996);Thomassonv.Perry,80F.3d915,927-31,28934(4thCir.1996)(enbane),Noawardofcostsisaccordinglyappropriatehere.
DEFENDANTS'OBJECTIONSTOPLAINTIFF'SBILLOFCOSTSUNITEDSTATESDEPARTMENTOFJUSTICECIVILDIVISION,FEDERALPROGRAMSBRANCP.O.
Box883,BEN
FRANKLIN
STATIONVVASHINGTON,D.C.20044(202)353-0543
-2-

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