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FIGUEROA v. CITY OF NEW YORK

United States District Court, S.D. New York


April 13, 2005.

MARILYN FIGUEROA, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, DEPARTMENT OF SANITATION, and ROCKY DARMIENTO, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHIRA SCHEINDLIN, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Defendants have moved to renew their application for costs against plaintiff Marilyn Figueroa under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d). Plaintiff has not filed a timely objection to this motion. Nonetheless, defendants' motion for costs is denied.

The decision whether to award costs to a prevailing party under Rule 54(d) lies within the sound discretion of the district court. See LoSacca v. City of Middletown, 71 F.3d 88, 92 (2d Cir. 1995) (citing Farmer v. Arabian Am. Oil Co., 379 U.S. 227, 232-33 (1964)); Cosgrove v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 191 F.3d 98, 101-02 (2d Cir. 1999). "A court need not award costs if it finds that such an award would be inequitable. Among the factors which may be considered in making this decision are plaintiff's indigency or financial hardship and plaintiff's good faith in bringing the action." Bekiaris v. United States, No. 96 Civ. 302, 1998 WL 734362, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 20, 1998) (citations omitted).

  Finally, Local Rule 54.1 provides that "[a] party objecting to any cost item [contained in an adversary's bill of costs] shall serve objections in writing prior to or at the time for taxation . . . In the absence of written objection, any item listed may be taxed within the discretion of the clerk." Local Rule 54.1(b). However, the fact that plaintiff has not objected to defendants' renewed motion does not prevent this Court from denying costs. Plaintiff timely objected when the motion for costs was originally brought. Whether plaintiff's original objection can be renewed sua sponte for purposes of this motion need not be addressed. A district court has the inherent power to depart from its Local Rules when such a departure is warranted. See Somlyo v. J. Lu-Rob Enters., Inc., 932 F.2d 1043, 1048 (2d Cir. 1991). Therefore, considering the financial hardship the imposition of costs would impose on plaintiff and the fact that plaintiff brought this action in good faith, I deny defendants' renewed motion for costs. See Brodie v. Pressley, No. 95 Civ. 1197, 1999 WL 691960, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 7, 1999) ("[T]he Court has determined that costs should not be taxed against plaintiff, and so his non-compliance with Rule 54.1 will not bar relief."). The Clerk of the Court is directed to close this motion (Document # 42). SO ORDERED.

20050413

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