United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
June 14, 2005.
SLAWOMIR ZAK, Plaintiff,
RYERSON TULL, INC., a/k/a JOSEPH T. RYERSON & SON, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Defendant Ryerson Tull,
Inc.'s ("Ryerson") bill of costs. For the reasons stated below,
we deny the bill of costs in its entirety.
On April 19, 2005, we granted Ryerson's motion for summary
judgment. Ryerson has now filed a bill of costs. Ryerson seeks to
recover $4,301.43 for court reporter fees and $2,371.82 for
printing fees. Plaintiff Slawomir Zak ("Zak") objects to the bill
of costs and argues that the bill of costs should be denied in
its entirety. We note that we gave Ryerson until May 31, 2005, to
file a reply brief in response to Zak's objections, and Ryerson has not filed any reply brief.
The prevailing party may recover costs, other than attorney's
fees, as a matter of course unless the court otherwise directs.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). Costs that can be recovered must be
authorized by statute. Cefalu v. Village of Elk Grove,
211 F.3d 416, 427 (7th Cir. 2000). The following costs have been
authorized by statute for recovery by the prevailing party: 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; and 6) "Compensation of court appointed experts,
interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special
interpretation services. . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 1920. In awarding
costs, the court will determine: 1) whether the costs are
recoverable; and 2) whether the amount assessed is reasonable.
Majeske v. City of Chi., 218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000).
Rule 54(d)(1) establishes a heavy presumption that the prevailing
party will be awarded costs. Id.
Ryerson seeks to recover $4,301.43 in fees for the court
reporter for all or any part of the transcript necessarily
obtained for use in the case. Additionally, Ryerson seeks to recover $2,371.82 in fees and disbursements for
I. Transcript Fees
Zak argues that Ryerson's request for costs of the court
reporter for transcripts obtained in the case should not be
awarded because Ryerson failed to furnish any information
regarding the ordering of transcripts. The prevailing party is
entitled to recover fees of the court reporter for transcripts
obtained for use in a case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920(2). Held
v. Held, 137 F.3d 998, 1002 (7th Cir. 1988). The costs for
transcripts cannot "exceed the regular 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 the court." Local
Rule 54.1(b). Costs will not be awarded where the party seeking
recovery fails to provide information identifying where such
expenses were generated such that the court can analyze whether
the costs were reasonable. Shah v. Village of Hoffman Estates,
2003 WL 21961362, at *1 (N.D. Ill. 2003). Ryerson requests
$4,301.43 in fees for the production of transcripts in its bill
of costs, but does not specify what transcripts were obtained,
how many pages were transcribed, how many hours were spent by the
court reporter, or any information other than the amount
requested. Since Ryerson has failed to provide the court with
sufficient information to determine whether the amount Ryerson
requested is reasonable, we deny Ryerson's request for the
recovery of transcript costs. II. Printing Fees
Zak also argues that Ryerson's request for printing costs
should not be awarded because Ryerson has failed to provide any
information regarding the amount and necessity of the prints. The
prevailing party is entitled to recover fees for printing under
28 U.S.C. 1920(3) that are "necessarily obtained for use in the
case." 28 U.S.C. 1920(3); Northbrook Excess and Surplus Ins. Co.
v. Procter & Gamble Co., 924 F.2d 633, 643 (7th Cir. 1991). The
party seeking recovery of costs is not required to provide such a
detailed report as to make recovery of such costs onerous. See
e.g. id. However, the party must "provide the best breakdown
obtainable from retained records." Id. In the instant action,
Ryerson seeks to recover $2,371.82 in printing costs, but Ryerson
has failed to provide the court with supporting documentation in
receipts or any breakdown of the amount of prints and its
corresponding relation to the litigation. Instead, Ryerson merely
provides a request for an amount as a line item on its bill of
costs. Accordingly, we deny Ryerson's recovery of printing costs.
Based on the foregoing analysis, we deny Ryerson's bill of
costs in its entirety.
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