The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Plaintiff James D. Solon's
("Solon") request that the court deny or reduce certain costs
requested in Defendants' bill of costs, pursuant to the Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 54(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920. For the reasons stated below, we deny the bill of costs in part
and grant it in part and order Defendants to prepare a revised
bill of costs.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 54 provides: "Except when
express provision therefor is made either in a statute of the
United States or in these rules, costs other than attorneys' fees
shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the
court otherwise directs. . . ." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920 a court can tax as costs: "(1) Fees
of the clerk and marshal; (2) Fees of the court reporter for all
or any part of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained
for use in the case; (3) Fees and disbursements for printing and
witnesses; (4) Fees for exemplification and copies of papers
necessarily obtained for use in the case; (5) Docket fees under
section 1923 of this title; (6) Compensation of court appointed
experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees,
expenses, and costs of special interpretation services. . . ."
28 U.S.C. § 1920. Pursuant to Local Rule 54.1 transcript costs
should not exceed the rates set forth by the Judicial Conference
of the United States. In awarding costs to a prevailing party a
court should determine: "(1) whether the cost imposed on the
losing party is recoverable and (2) if so, whether the amount
assessed for that item was reasonable." Majeske v. City of
Chicago, 218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000). In making such
determinations the court should keep in "mind that there is a
heavy presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party." Id.
I. Deposition Transcripts
Solon objects to costs associated with the deposition
transcripts copy rate, exhibit copy costs, delivery costs, and
Solon objects to the charges Defendants requested for
deposition transcript copies. The Judicial Conference has
established rates for such transcripts at $3.30 per page for an
original transcript and $0.83 per page for the first copy.
Shaffer v. Combined Ins. Co. of Am., 2004 WL 542516, *1 (N.D.
Ill. 2004). Defendants have indicated that the cost for a copy of
Larry Kaplan's deposition transcript was $2.05 per page, that the
cost for a copy of Fred Begy III's deposition transcript was
$2.35 per page, and that the cost for copies of Tobert von
Ohlen's deposition transcript and Linda Stephney's deposition
transcript was $2.35 per page. Defendant has not responded in its
reply brief to these cost objections by Solon. We find that the
proper rate per page for the copies of the above mentioned
deposition transcripts should be $0.83 per page. B. Deposition Exhibit Copies
Kaplan has proven the necessity of the deposition exhibit
copies. Costs for exhibits are recoverable if they are an
essential aid to understanding an issue in the case. Cefalu v.
Village of Elk Grove, 211 F.3d 416, 428 (7th Cir. 2000). We find
that the deposition exhibits were essential in determining
whether to grant Defendants' summary judgment motion. Therefore,
the $27.80 for the exhibits is recoverable.
C. Deposition Delivery Charges
Solon further refutes the deposition delivery charges. In
accordance with the Judicial Conference guidelines, costs of the
delivery of transcripts cannot be recovered as ordinary business
expenses. Egebergh v. Village of Mt. Prospect, 2004 WL 868643,
*2 (N.D. Ill. 2004). Defendants do not argue in their reply that
they are entitled to costs for delivery expenses. Thus, the
delivery charges totaling $53.00 are denied as costs.
D. Deposition Videotaping
Solon contests Defendants' recovery for the videotaping of
Solon's and Larry Kaplan's depositions. Deposition videotaping
can be taxable. Barber v. Ruth, 7 F.3d 636, 645 (7th Cir.
1993). However, such costs can only charged where they are a
substitute for transcript costs. Id. Defendants do not argue in
their reply that they are entitled to recover costs for the videotaping and do not ...