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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Borders & Borders, PLC

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

June 15, 2018

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU, PLAINTIFF
v.
BORDERS & BORDERS, PLC, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         I. Introduction

         This case is before the court on plaintiff Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (“the CFPB”) objection to defendants Borders & Borders, PLC, Harry Borders, John Borders Jr., and J. David Borders' (collectively “Borders”) bill of costs. ECF No. 169. Borders responded. ECF No. 170. This matter is now ripe for review. For the foregoing reasons, CFPB's objection will be sustained.

         II. Factual Background

         On October 24, 2014, the CFPB filed suit against Borders, alleging that Borders had violated section 8(a) of the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act (“RESPA”) by referring consumers to title insurance agencies the law firm jointly owned with local real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Section 8(a) states in relevant part: “No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee, kickback, or thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding, oral or otherwise, that business incident to or part of a real estate settlement service involving a federally related mortgage loan shall be referred to any person.” 12 U.S.C. § 2607(a).

         After over two years of litigation, Borders filed a motion for summary judgment and the CFPB filed a cross-motion for partial summary judgment. ECF Nos. 128, 129. This court granted Borders' motion for summary judgment and denied the CFPB's motion for partial summary judgment, finding that Borders' actions fell within RESPA's safe harbor provision for ‘affiliated business arrangements under 12 U.S.C. § 2607(c)(4). ECF No. 157. Following this opinion, the CFPB filed a motion for reconsideration. ECF No. 161. Ultimately, this court denied the CFPB's motion for reconsideration, albeit on different grounds. ECF No. 167.

         Borders, as the prevailing party, filed a bill of costs totaling $18, 708.14. ECF No. 160. The CFPB now objects to this bill of costs. ECF No. 169.

         III. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) states: “Unless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party. But costs against the United States, its officers, and its agencies may be imposed only to the extent allowed by law.” The Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”) provides that costs “may be awarded to the prevailing party in any civil action brought by or against the United States or any agency . . .” 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a). The costs that may be taxed include:

1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;
3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained ...

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