The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Defendant City of Chicago's
("City") bill of costs. For the reasons stated below, we grant
the bill of costs in part and deny it in part.
On June 8, 2005, we granted Defendants' motions for summary
judgment. The City, one of the Defendants has filed a bill of
costs requesting $49,401.98 for costs and expenses incurred
during the instant litigation. Plaintiffs have filed objections
to the bill of costs. LEGAL STANDARD
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) provides that the
prevailing party shall be allowed to recover costs other than
attorneys' fees unless a statute or other rule states otherwise
or the court specifically disallows such costs. Fed.R.Civ.P.
54(d); See also 28 U.S.C. § 1920(setting forth costs that are
generally recoverable). The Seventh Circuit has made it clear
that in reviewing a bill of costs, the district court should keep
in mind that "[t]here is a presumption that the prevailing party
will recover costs, and the losing party bears the burden of an
affirmative showing that taxed costs are not appropriate."
Beamon v. Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co., 411 F.3d 854, 864
(7th Cir. 2005); see also Weeks v. Samsung Heavy Indus. Co.,
Ltd., 126 F.3d 926, 945 (7th Cir. 1997) (stating that "[t]he
presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party is
difficult to overcome, and the district court's discretion is
narrowly confined"). In addition to making sure that requested
costs are recoverable, a district court must also ensure that the
costs are reasonable. See, e.g., Majeske v. City of Chicago,
218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000).
I. Deposition Related Costs
Plaintiffs argue that certain costs incurred by the City
relating to the depositions were not necessary for the defense. A
deposition cost may be recovered for a deposition that was
"`reasonably necessary' to the case at the time it was taken" and the inquiry should not focus on "whether it was used in a
motion or in court." Cengr v. Fusibond Piping Systems, Inc.,
135 F.3d 445, 455 (7th Cir. 1998) (stating that focus should
not be one whether the deposition was ultimately utilized in
A. Plaintiffs' Deposition Transcripts
Plaintiffs argue that the $3,819.15 requested in the bill of
costs for Plaintiffs' deposition transcripts should be denied
because the City did not need the transcripts. Plaintiffs
complain that the depositions were lengthy and were on multiple
days for each Plaintiff. However, Plaintiffs have failed to show
that such transcripts would not have been necessary for the
defense. In fact, the deposition testimony of each Plaintiff
would likely have been an essential tool in the preparation of
the defense in the instant action. Plaintiffs also complain that
they should not be taxed for costs for the lengthy depositions
because the City violated the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
30(d)(2) that limits the duration of depositions. However, as
Plaintiffs also acknowledge, Plaintiffs presented a motion before
the court requesting that the court limit the depositions and
this court in its discretion denied the motion authorizing the
depositions to proceed. The allegations in the complaint spanned
several decades and the time devoted to Plaintiffs' depositions
was reasonable. Thus, Plaintiffs incorrectly assert that the City
violated Rule 30(d)(2).
Plaintiffs also complain about the "inefficiency" in how the
City conducted the depositions, apparently contending that Plaintiffs could have
done a more efficient job. (Ans. 5 n. 1). However, such
contentions are speculation on Plaintiffs' part and nothing under
the law requires a court faced with a bill of costs to expend the
time and resources to sift through deposition transcripts word
for word and gage the efficiency of each deposition. Also, it is
a ridiculous notion by Plaintiffs that the City should have known
exactly what portions of the Plaintiffs' testimony would have
been useful for the defense and accordingly to order transcripts
for only isolated and select portions of the depositions.
Plaintiffs now claim to have knowledge of what deposition
testimony would have been of value to the City. However,
Plaintiffs chose to bring the instant action and cannot now,
having failed in the action, use hindsight to try and discredit
the City's efforts to formulate a defense. See Cengr v. Fusibond
Piping Systems, Inc., 135 F.3d at 455 (stating that the focus
should not be on "whether it was used in a motion or in court").
Had Plaintiffs testified at trial, a record of their deposition
testimony would have been invaluable to the defense, and
Plaintiffs cannot presume to know through clairvoyance what facts
would have been brought out on the stand when Plaintiffs
testified. A complete and thorough record of the entire
depositions for all Plaintiffs was reasonably necessary for the
City to prepare its defense.
Plaintiffs also object to an additional $778.29 for
"Min-U-Script" and condensed transcript costs because the costs
were merely for additional copies for the City's attorneys'
convenience. The City does not provide an explanation for why the costs were necessary and therefore, we shall strike such
costs from the bill of costs. Therefore, the costs for the
deposition transcripts of Plaintiffs will not be stricken from
the City's bill of costs, but the $778.29 for the "Min-U-Script"
costs will be stricken from the bill of costs.
B. Deposition Diskette, Expedited Transcript, and Attendance
Plaintiffs complain about the $198.00 charged by the City for
ASCII diskettes and certain expedited transcript costs.
Plaintiffs object to the $79.50 charged for Dr. Bala's deposition
and the $118.50 charged for Dr. Fisfalen's deposition. As a
general rule, a court should not award costs for condensed
transcripts, indexes and ASCII diskette copies of the transcripts
unless the movant can show that the items were reasonably
necessary for the litigation and not acquired for the attorneys'
convenience. Surratt v. Chicago Transit Authority, 2005 WL
946873, at *2 (N.D. Ill. 2005); ...