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Frank J. Jones v. Dan Artery

May 1, 2012

FRANK J. JONES, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
DAN ARTERY, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Platte County The Honorable Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Golden, Justice.

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.=

[¶1] In June 2009, Dan Artery (Artery) was attacked by three Boston terriers that were under the care and responsibility of Frank Jones (Jones) and Amy Bates (Bates). Artery brought an action against Jones and Bates for injuries Artery sustained during the attack. On the morning of trial, Jones admitted one hundred percent liability for the injuries, and the district court dismissed Bates as a defendant. The remaining question of damages was then tried to a jury, and the jury awarded Artery damages in the amount of $13,059.83. Thereafter, the district court, over the objections of Jones, ordered Jones to pay Artery's costs in the amount of $1,005.20. Jones appeals a portion of the awarded costs. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

ISSUE

[¶2] Jones presents the following issue on appeal: Did the district court abuse its discretion in awarding certain costs to Appellee?

FACTS

[¶3] On June 11, 2009, Artery was visiting his brother-in-law, Jerry Gebhart, who lived across the street from Jones and Bates. On that June date, three Boston terriers either owned by or under the care and responsibility of Jones and Bates were running at large. The three dogs attacked and injured Artery.

[¶4] On December 18, 2009, Artery filed a Complaint against Jones and Bates asserting strict liability and negligence claims and seeking damages for the injuries he sustained. On January 26, 2010, Jones and Bates filed an Answer admitting that Bates was the owner of the three dogs, and otherwise denying all allegations.

[¶5] The matter was set for a jury trial, and on April 13, 2011, the first morning of the trial, Jones, during a conference in chambers, stipulated to one hundred percent liability for Artery's injuries. The district court then dismissed the Complaint against Bates and ordered her to pay her own fees and costs. The remaining issue of damages was tried to the jury, and the jury returned a verdict for Artery in the amount of $13,059.83.

[¶6] Artery thereafter submitted a certified bill of costs seeking $1,005.20 in costs. Artery's bill of costs contained a more detailed itemization of the costs, but summarized generally, Artery sought the following costs:

a. Filing fee for Complaint: $60.00

b. Service fees (10): $350.00

c. Witness fees for Gerald Gebhart: $266.40

d. Reporter fees: $180.00 (pretrial conference and trial)

e. Deposition costs: $148.80 (transcripts)

Jones objected to all of the costs except $185.00, which accounted for: $60.00 for the filing fee; $35.00 for service of the summons and complaint on Jones; and $90.00 for two days of court reporter fees at $45.00 per day.

[ΒΆ7] On June 1, 2011, the district court entered an order awarding Artery's costs in their entirety. On June 30, 2011, Jones filed a notice of appeal from ...


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