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Earl S. Davis v. Timothy Budz

March 31, 2011

EARL S. DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TIMOTHY BUDZ, FORMER FACILITY DIRECTOR OF THE SEXUALLY VIOLENT PERSONS UNIT, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

(Davis costs)

Plaintiff Earl Davis is a civilly-committed mental health patient in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services ("DHS"). Plaintiff claimed that the conditions of his civil confinement violated his constitutional rights to equal protection of the laws and substantive due process. Following a bench trial, this court found in favor of Mr. Davis on two claims and entered a modest damages award. See Davis v. Peters, 566 F. Supp. 2d 790 (N.D. Ill. 2008). Having prevailed on two claims against Defendant Timothy Budz, former director of the DHS's Treatment and Detention Facility, Plaintiff now seeks an award of costs in the amount of $34,398.20.*fn1

Defendant objects to portions of Plaintiff's bill of costs, and for the reasons explained here, those objections are sustained in part and overruled in part.

Rule 54(d)(1) provides that "costs other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs . . . ." Cefalu v. Village of Elk Grove, 211 F.3d 416, 427 (7th Cir. 2000). The following costs may be recoverable:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;

(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;

(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;

(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are 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. There is a presumption in favor of a cost award, and in order to overcome that presumption, "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) (citing M.T. Bonk Co. v. Milton Bradley Co., 945 F.2d 1404, 1409 (7th Cir. 1991)).

Plaintiff's bill of costs includes six entries: $11,517.89 for court reporter services and transcript costs; $306 for service of process fees; $21,135.28 for copies; $411 for witness fees; $1003 for "miscellaneous expenses," including messenger services; and $25 for fees of the clerk. Defendant objects to all of Plaintiffs' ...


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