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United States v. Shanrie Co.

March 17, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SHANRIE CO., INC., DAN SHEILS, NETEMEYER ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, INC., FOREST HILLS, L.P., THE MARK TWAIN TRUST, PAMELA BAUER, AND BRIAN BAUER, DEFENDANTS, AND NETEMEYER ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, INC., FOREST HILLS, L.P., MARK TWAIN TRUST, PAMELA BAUER, AND BRIAN BAUER, DEFENDANTS/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RHUTASEL AND ASSOCIATES, INC., L&S BUILDERS DESIGN, INC., HENDERSON ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS, INC., THOUVENOT, WADE & MOERCHEN, INC., AND BUILDERS DESIGN HOLLANDER ARCHITECTS, P.C., THIRD PARTY DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Before the Court is Third-Party Defendant Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc.'s ("TWM") motion for costs (Doc. 114) and request for order to show cause and motion for award of attorney's fees (Doc. 116), filed subsequent to the Court's February 2, 2009 Order (Doc. 109) granting Defendant TWM's motion to dismiss (Doc. 51). Defendants/Third-party Plaintiffs Netemeyer Engineering Associates, Inc., Forest Hills, L.P., Mark Twain Trust, Pamela Bauer, and Brian Bauer have filed an objection to TWM's motion for attorney's fees (Doc. 119). The Court will now address these objections to determine the proper amount of costs and attorney's fees, if any, taxable to Third-party Plaintiffs.

II. Analysis

A. Bill of Costs

Defendant moves, pursuant to FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 54(d) for an award of costs as set forth in the Bill of Costs (Doc. 114). Along with its Bill of Costs, Defendant has attached the relevant invoices in order to verify each cost claimed. The costs are as follows:

(1) Fees of the Court Reporter$554.30 (2) Fees for exemplification and copies of papers$388.69 TOTAL:$942.99

Taxable costs are allowed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920.*fn1 In this case, the Court will also follow the guidance provided by its own LOCAL RULE 54.2 regarding taxation of costs.*fn2 However, it is within the district court's discretion to determine which costs Third-party Defendant seeks fall within the ambit specifically recognized by law and whether these claimed expenses are also reasonable, given the circumstances. See State of Ill. v. Sangamo Construction Co., 657 F.2d 855 863-64 (7th Cir. 1981).

Defendant seeks reimbursement of court reporter fees for the Depositions of William Henderson, Stephen Hollander, and Leonard Land. Court reporter fees are allowable under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 as long as they are reasonably necessary to the case at the time taken. 28 U.S.C. § 1920()(2); see also Cengr v. Fusibond Piping Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 445, 455 (7th Cir. 1998) (Court must consider whether the deposition was "reasonably necessary" to case at time taken; the use of a deposition in summary judgment motion or at trial is not definitive for determining whether it was necessary for the case). The parties do not dispute that the depositions were necessary for this case. Depositions of Henderson, Hollander, and Land, were used by TWM's co-defendants in their respective motions of summary judgment to help substantiate their arguments.*fn3 However, the cost of delivery is not normally recoverable because under Judicial Conference Guidelines, costs of delivery of transcripts are considered ordinary business expenses. Alexander v. CIT Tech. Fin. Servs., 222 F. Supp. 2d 1087, 1091 (N.D. Ill. 2002); See also COURT REPORTER MANUAL, ch. 20, pt. 20.9.4. Therefore, the Court will DISALLOW the $7.00 associated with delivery of the depositions. The remaining costs associated with the court report are allowed. Therefore, TWM is entitled to $547.30 in court reporter fees.

TWM also seeks $388.69 in copying costs for various documents from its co-defendants. Section 1920(4) allows for copies of papers necessarily obtained for use in the case. There is no dispute the copies of prior pleadings and documents from co-defendants was necessary for this case. Therefore, the Court allows those costs.

Therefore, Defendant TWM's request for costs, as reflected in its Bill of Costs (Doc. 114) is hereby GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, the Court having determined that certain costs are taxable but not in the amount originally requested by Defendant.

The following items are properly taxable against Third-Party Plaintiffs:

(1) Feeds of the Court Reporter$547.30 (2) Fees for copies$388.69 TOTAL:$935.99

The Clerk of the Court shall therefore enter a taxation of costs against Third-Party Plaintiffs in this matter in accordance with this ...


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