Stender v. Archstone-Smith, No. 18-1432 (10th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
A federal district court used a Colorado statute governing costs to award more than $230,000 in costs that would not have been allowable under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d). Disappointed with the outcome of a merger, minority-shareholder Plaintiffs brought a class action against Defendants for breach of contract and fiduciary duties. The parties litigated their dispute for over ten years across proceedings in arbitration and federal court. In the end the district court granted summary judgment in Defendants’ favor, which was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit. Moving for costs under Rule 54(d), the district court awarded the costs under review in this appeal. Because Rule 54(d) fell well within the statutory authorization of the Rules Enabling Act and its displacement of Colorado state law would not impair any state substantive right, the Tenth Circuit held that a federal court exercising diversity jurisdiction has no power to award costs.