Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PRUITT v. CITY OF CHICAGO

October 5, 2005.

BERNARD PRUITT et al. on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, DEPARTMENT OF AVIATION, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

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.

BACKGROUND

  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).

  DISCUSSION

  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 action).

  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 Costs

  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); ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.