The opinion of the court was delivered by: MATHEW KENNELLY, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A jury found against Rosemary Higbee on her claims against
Sentry Insurance Company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Sentry has
petitioned the Court pursuant to Rule 54(d)(1) and
28 U.S.C. § 1920 for an award of costs in the amount of $24,291.12. Higbee
has objected to specific aspects of Sentry's petition and also
asks the Court to deny the petition in its entirety on the
grounds that she is unable to pay a cost award. For the reasons
stated below, the Court grants Sentry's petition, but only in the
amount of $8,460.49.
Under Rule 54, "[c]osts other than attorneys' fees shall be
allowed as a matter of course to the prevailing party unless the
court otherwise directs." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). The costs
recoverable under Rule 54(d)(1) are those specified in
28 U.S.C. § 1920. Cengr v. Fusibond Piping Systems, Inc., 135 F.3d 445,
454 (7th Cir. 1998). Section 1920 permits a court to tax as costs
the fees of the clerk and marshal; the fees of the court reporter
"for all or any part of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained for use in the
case"; fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses; fees
"for exemplification and copies of papers necessarily obtained
for use in the case"; and other items not relevant here.
28 U.S.C. § 1920.
1. Fees of the court reporter
Deposition costs, including the costs of deposition
transcripts, are recoverable under § 1920(2). Cengr, 135 F.3d
at 454. Under Northern District of Illinois 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." N.D. Ill. LR 54.1(b). The rate
cap established in the Local Rule applies to deposition charges
by private court reporters. Cengr, 135 F.3d at 456. The regular
copy rate established by the Judicial Conference at all times
relevant to the case was $3.00 for the original transcript and
$0.75 for the first copy.
The Court rejects Sentry's request for reimbursement for fees
charged for extra, condensed-copy transcripts and ASCII disks of
depositions transcripts. Section 1920(2) requires a transcript to
be "necessarily obtained for use in the case" for its cost to be
recoverable. Under ordinary circumstances, the statute does not
permit reimbursement for more than one copy of a deposition; in
any event, Sentry has failed to show that these items were
obtained out of necessity rather than for the convenience of
counsel. See, e.g., Williams v. Valtierra, No. 00 C 5734, 2002
WL 424634, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 19, 2002) (citing cases).
Second, the Court agrees with Higbee that the request for
reimbursement of the reporters' delivery charges and charges for
making copies of exhibits are not recoverable. See, e.g.,
Rogers v. City of Chicago, No. 00 C 2227, 2002 WL 423723, at *2 (N.D.
Ill. Mar. 15, 2002) (Leinenweber, J.). With regard to the
exhibits, Sentry has failed to allege, much less show, that these
were anything more than extra copies of documents it already had.
See Cengr, 135 F.3d at 456-57 (denying request for
reimbursement of court reporters' charges for duplicating
exhibits used at depositions).
In addition to seeking reimbursement of the cost of deposition
transcripts, Sentry also requests reimbursement of hourly or
fixed "appearance" fees charged by private court reporters.
Though this Court has allowed reimbursement such fees on some
prior occasions, we are persuaded by Judge Leinenweber's
conclusion in Rogers that they are not recoverable to the
extent they make the overall cost of the deposition transcript
exceed the regular-copy rates approved by the Judicial
Conference. See Rogers, 2002 WL 423723, at *3 (rates approved
by Judicial Conference cover all costs of transcript
With these considerations in mind, the following expenses are
Deponent amount Basis
Rosemary Higbee $1,800.00 600 pages; $1,771.95 charged for transcript, plus the
portion of the attendance charges that does not make the
total exceed $3.00 per page
Roland Higbee $297.00 99 pages; per page charge exceeded $3.00
Jamie Tarkowski $80.25 transcript copy; 107 pages at $0.75 per page
C. Vedak $294.00 98 pages; per page charge exceeded $3.00
Linda Dods $459.00 153 pages; per page charge exceeded $3.00
Sandra Bonifas $67.50 transcript copy; 90 pages at $0.75 per page
Marcella Ehlert $14.25 transcript copy; 19 pages at $0.75 per page
Anieda Krause $12.75 transcript copy; 17 pages at $0.75 per page Ted Francsis $57.00 transcript copy; 76 pages at $0.75 per page
Richard Lang $119.25 ...