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United States v. Bowden

April 28, 1950

UNITED STATES
v.
BOWDEN ET AL.



Phillips

Before PHILLIPS, Chief Judge, and HUXMAN and MURRAH, Circuit Judges.

PHILLIPS, Chief Judge.

On August 23, 1949, the clerk of the court below entered a default judgment against the Bowdens in favor of the United States for $153.93, being the balance due on a promissory note. On August 27, 1949, the clerk taxed costs against the Bowdens, but did not include the attorney's docket fee of $20 claimed by the United States. The District Court, on motion to retax the costs, refused to tax the attorney's docket fee.

28 U.S.C.A. § 1923 in part provides:

"(a) Attorney's and proctor's docket fees in courts of the United States may be taxed as costs as follows:

" $20 on trial or final hearing in civil, criminal or admiralty cases, except that in cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction where the libellant recovers less than $50 the proctor's docket fee shall be $10;

" $20 in admiralty appeals involving not over $1,000;

" $50 in admiralty appeals involving not over $5,000;

" $100 in admiralty appeals involving more than $5,000;

" $5 on discontinuance of a civil action; * * *."

The former statute, 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 571 and 572, in part read:

" § 571. Fees to be taxed. The following fees and no other shall be taxed and allowed to attorneys, solicitors, and proctors in the courts of the United States, and to district attorneys, except in cases otherwise expressly provided by law. * * *

" § 572. Attorneys, solicitors, and proctors. On a trial before a jury, in civil or criminal causes or before referees, or on a final hearing in equity or admiralty, a docket fee of $20 : Provided, That in cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, where the libellant recovers less than $50, the docket fee of his proctor shall be but $10. * * *"

Thus it will be seen that in the revision, the words "may be taxed" are substituted for the words "shall be ...


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