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Vleet v. Montana Association of Counties Workers' Compensation Trust

Court of Workers Compensation of Montana

March 1, 2005

MINDY VAN VLEET, Individually and as natural guardian of Vanesa Van Vleet Petitioner
v.
MONTANA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES WORKERS' COMPENSATION TRUST Respondent/Insurer.

         Submitted: February 1, 2005

          ORDER AWARDING COSTS

          MIKE McCARTER JUDGE

         Summary: Following a favorable decision on appeal, Van Vleet v. Montana Ass'n of Counties Workers' Compensation Trust, 2004 MT 367, the petitioner filed a Memorandum of Costs. The respondent objected to most of the submitted costs on the grounds that they are either not recoverable or not documented.

         Held: The signature of an attorney on a memorandum of costs constitutes his or her certification that the costs were incurred and are reasonable, and it is ordinarily unnecessary to provide the actual documentation for such costs even though Rule 24.5.342 requires that documentation regarding some costs be maintained. However, where the opposing party questions the costs based on a failure to provide documentation for the requested costs, the Court will direct the production of the documentation.

         Topics:

Costs: WCC Costs. The signature of an attorney on a memorandum of costs constitutes his or her certification that the costs were incurred and are reasonable, and it is ordinarily unnecessary to provide the actual documentation for such costs even though Rule 24.5.342 requires that documentation regarding some costs be maintained. However, where the opposing party questions the costs based on a failure to provide documentation for the requested costs, the Court will direct the production of the documentation.
Constitutions, Statutes, Rules, and Regulations: Workers' Compensation Court Rules: 24.5.342. The signature of an attorney on a memorandum of costs constitutes his or her certification that the costs were incurred and are reasonable, and it is ordinarily unnecessary to provide the actual documentation for such costs even though Rule 24.5.342 requires that documentation regarding some costs be maintained. However, where the opposing party questions the costs based on a failure to provide documentation for the requested costs, the Court will direct the production of the documentation.

         ¶1 Following a favorable decision on appeal, Van Vleet v. Montana Ass'n of Counties Workers' Compensation Trust, 2004 MT 367, the petitioner's attorneys filed a Memorandum of Costs. The initial request, filed January 19, 2005, is for $2, 348.24. In a second Memorandum of Costs filed February 1, 2005, that amount is reduced to $2, 237.67. The respondent objects to all but $257.25 of the submitted costs. Thus, $1, 980.42 is at issue.

         Rule Governing Costs

         ¶2 The recovery of costs is governed by Rule 24.5.342, which provides:

24.5.342 TAXATION OF COSTS (1) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, within 10 days after the entry of a judgment allowing costs, a prevailing claimant shall serve on the parties against whom costs are to be allowed an application for taxation of costs. The application must be filed with the court.
(2) The application for taxation of costs must be signed by the attorney for the claimant, or the claimant personally, if appearing pro sé. The signature on the application is a certification by the person signing the application of the accuracy of the costs claimed and that the costs incurred were reasonable and necessary to the case.
(3) The court will allow reasonable costs. The reasonableness of a given item of cost claimed is judged in light of the facts and circumstances of the case, and the ...

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