The opinion of the court was delivered by: James H. Alesia, United States Dictrict Jedge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On April 11, 2002, this court granted defendants' motion for summary
judgment and entered final judgment in favor of defendants Fernando Flores
and Anthony Schwocher and against plaintiff John Ochana. Ochana v. Flores,
No. 00 C 7869, 2002 WL 553150 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 11, 2002). Currently before
the court is defendants' motion for entry of an order on their bill of
costs. For the reasons set forth below, the court grants in part and denies
in part defendants' motion.
Rule 54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth the
general rule that costs other than attorneys' fees "shall be allowed as
of course to the prevailing party," except as otherwise provided by
statute or in the rules. Payne v. Milwaukee County, 288 F.3d 1021, 1027
(7th Cir. 2002) (quoting FED. R. Civ. P. 54(d)). The proper measure of
those costs is set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1920 ("§ 1920"). Tidemann
v. Nadler Golf Car Sales, Inc., 224 F.3d 719, 726 (7th Cir. 2000). The
costs explicitly allowed by § 1920 are: (1) fees of the clerk and
marshal; (2) fees for court reporters and transcripts; (3) fees for
printing and witnesses; (4) fees for copies of papers necessarily obtained
for use in the case; (5) docket fees; and (6) compensation of
court-appointed experts and interpreters. § 1920. There is a heavy
presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party. Majeske
v. City of Chicago, 218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000). Taxing costs
against a losing party requires two inquiries: (1) whether the cost
imposed on the losing party is recoverable, and (2) if so, whether the
amount assessed for that item was reasonable. Id.
As an initial matter, the court disagrees with plaintiffs argument that
no costs should be awarded because all costs sought were paid by the City
of Chicago, a non-party in this case. Plaintiff is correct that the City of
Chicago itself is a non-party in this case and, therefore, cannot be a
prevailing party. However, as demonstrated by receipts attached to the bill
of costs, the costs were paid by the Assistant Corporation Counsel
Individual Defense Litigation which represented Officers Flores and
Schwocher throughout these proceedings. As the prevailing parties, these
defendants are entitled to costs through their attorneys, the Assistant
Corporation Counsel. Therefore, the bill of costs was properly filed by the
Defendants seek recovery for the following in their bill of costs: (1)
$1,781.25 for deposition and transcript costs; (2) $760.80 for
photocopying fees; (3) $43.00 in witness and subpoena fees; and (4)
$249.00 for other costs relating to medical records and photographs.
Because all these costs are recoverable under § 1920, the court's
only inquiry is whether the amount assessed for each item was
reasonable. Plaintiff has no objection to the witness and subpoena fees,
but objected to several other portions of defendants' bill of costs. The
court will review each of the disputed costs in turn.
B. Deposition and transcript costs
Plaintiff objects to the amount charged for deposition transcripts,
condensed transcripts and ASCII disks, and an expedited transcript. The
court will address each objection in turn.
1. Deposition transcript charges
First, according to Local Rule 54.1(b), "the costs of the transcript
or deposition shall not exceed the regular copy rate as established by
the Judicial Conference of the United States and in effect at the time
the transcript or deposition was filed unless some other rate was
previously provided for by order of court." Loc. R., 54.1(b). The
Judicial Conference Rate allowed for original deposition transcripts is
$3.00 per page. VI JUDICIAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED STATES GUIDE TO
JUDICIARY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES, COURT REPORTERS MANUAL, ch. 20, pt.
20.3 (1998) ("COURT REPORTERS MANUAL"). This fee covers all costs of
transcript production. Id. at pt. 20.8. See also Cengr v. Fusibond Piping
Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 445, 456 (7th Cir. 1998) (summarizing the judicial
conference rates applicable to various types of transcripts).
Defendants seek deposition costs of $3.25 per page for the depositions
of Ochana, Flores, Schwocher and Oggerino, and they seek $4.00 per page
for the Murphy deposition. Because the maximum charge per page for a
deposition transcript is $3.00, these costs must be reduced using the
judicial conference rates. The court reduces defendants' award by the
following amounts: (a) $31.25 for the 125-page original transcript of
Ochana; (b) $31.00 for the 124-page combined original transcript of
Flores and Schwocher; (c) $35.25 for the 141-page original transcript of
Oggerino; and (d) $30.00 for the 30-page original transcript of Murphy.
Thus, the court reduces defendants' award by a total of $127.50 for the
deposition transcripts of the aforementioned witnesses.
2. Condensed transcripts and ASCII Disks
Second, in addition to the regular transcripts, defendants also seek
$18.75 for a condensed transcript of the Ochana deposition, $25.00 for a
condensed transcript of the combined Flores and Schwocher deposition, and
$20.00 for ASCII disks of the combined Flores and Schwocher deposition.
The Judicial Conference rate of $3.00 per page for original deposition
transcripts covers all costs of transcript production. COURT REPORTERS
MANUAL, ch. 20, Pt. 20.8. Costs for condensed transcripts are not
recoverable. Winery v. City of Chicago, No. 96 C 1208, 2000 WL 1222152,
at *2 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 22, 2000). Also, defendants are not entitled to
recover charges for ASCII diskettes of deposition transcripts, which are
merely for the attorney's convenience and not necessary to litigating the
case. Antonson v. United Armored Servs., Inc., No. 00 C 4095, 2002 WL
908424 (N.D. Ill. May 6, 2002) (citing Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus.
Co., 126 F.3d 926, 946 (7th Cir. 1997)); Rogers v. City of Chicago, No.
00 C 2227, 2002 WL 423723, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 15, 2002); Jones v. Bd.
of Trs. of Comty. Coll. Dist. No. 508, 197 F.R.D. 363, 364-65 (N.D. ...