Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Marx v. General Revenue Corp.

Costs: civil procedure: Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 54(d)(1), which gives district courts discretion to award costs to prevailing defendants “unless a federal statute . . . provides otherwise.”; Rule 54(d)(1) gives courts discretion to award costs to prevailing parties, but this discretion can be displaced by a federal statute or FRCP that “provides otherwise,” i.e., is “contrary” to Rule 54(d)(1). Contrary to the argument of Marx and the United States, as amicus, language of the original 1937 version of the Rule does not suggest that any “express provision” for costs should displace Rule 54(d)(1), regardless of whether it is contrary to the Rule (15 U. S. C. §1692k(a)(3)); Section 1692k(a)(3)’s language and context demonstrate that the provision is not contrary to Rule 54(d)(1); here, context indi­cates that Congress did not intend §1692k(a)(3) to foreclose courts from awarding costs under the Rule. First, under the American Rule, each litigant generally pays his own attorney’s fees, but the Court has long recognized that federal courts have inherent power to award attorney’s fees in a narrow set of circumstances, e.g., when a party brings an action in bad faith. The statute is thus best read as codify­ing a court’s pre-existing authority to award both attorney’s fees and costs (U.S. S. Ct., 26.02.13, Marx v. General Revenue Corp., J. Thomas).

Frais de justice et d'avocats en procédure civile fédérale : selon l'American Rule, chaque partie conserve ses frais. La Règle 54(d)(1) des Règles fédérales de procédure civile prévoit que la cour fédérale peut à sa discrétion mettre les frais et honoraires à charge de la partie perdante, à moins qu'une loi fédérale n'en dispose autrement. Il ne suffit pas qu'une loi fédérale prévoie une répartition des frais et dépens pour annuler la discrétion de la cour fédérale selon la Règle 54(d)(1)  précitée. Il faut encore que la réglementation prévue par la loi fédérale soit contraire à dite Règle 54(d)(1). Tel n'est pas le cas en l'espèce.

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