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U.S. Supreme Court

Kansas City Southern Ry. Co. v. Guardian Trust Co., 281 U.S. 1 (1930)

Kansas City Southern Railway Company v. Guardian Trust Company

No. 22

Argued January 15, 16, 1930

Decided February 24, 1930

281 U.S. 1


1. When used without qualification in a decree of a federal court, the word "costs" means the amounts taxable as such under Acts of Congress, rules promulgated by its authority and practice established consistently with governing enactments. P. 281 U. S. 9.

2. In equity, costs not otherwise governed by statute are given or withheld in the sound discretion of the court according to the facts and circumstances of the case. Id.

3. A decree merely allowing costs to be taxed does not mean that anything is to be included on account of counsel fees in addition to the nominal amounts specified in the statute (U.S.C. Title 28, §§ 571, 572) as attorney's fees. Id.

4. Even if it be assumed that federal equity courts have jurisdiction to allow costs as between solicitor and client and to include therein attorney's fees in excess of the amount prescribed by statute, the purpose to authorize such costs and to make such allowance should be clearly expressed in the decree. Id.

5. Where a decree of the circuit court of appeals reversing the district court with directions to enter a specific decree with costs, to be taxed under the principles, rules, and practice in equity, was entered after a rehearing at which, for the first time, it was suggested chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 281 U. S. 2

that the defeated party should be found guilty of bad faith in instigating and prosecuting the litigation, and, on that ground, should be taxed with solicitor's fees and other expenses incurred by the prevailing party, as part of its costs, held, construing the decree in connection with the opinion of the court and with regard to the issues before it on appeal, that the decree did not authorize or permit the taxation of costs as between solicitor and client. P. 281 U. S. 10.

6. The district court cannot vary a mandate of this Court requiring the execution of a decree of the circuit court of appeals, or give any further relief. P. 281 U. S. 11.

28 F.2d 233 reversed; district court affirmed.

Certiorari, 279 U.S. 827, to review a decree of the circuit court of appeals which reversed a decree of the district court refusing to tax counsel fees and other expenses as costs in favor of the Trust Company as part of a decree entered under an earlier ruling of the circuit court of appeals. See also 210 F.6d 6; 240 U. S. 240 U.S. 166; 146 F.3d 7; 171 id. 43. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 281 U. S. 4

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