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Jenkins v. Spaargaren

December 28, 2011

JENKINS
v.
SPAARGAREN, ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge Harry D. Leinenweber Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

For the reasons stated, Defendants' Motion for Costs [140] is granted in part and denied in part. Defendants are awarded costs in the amount of $2,984.08.

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.

STATEMENT

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Costs. [140] The motion is granted in part and denied in part.

Johnny Jenkins, a City of Chicago police officer on duty disability, brought the instant § 1983 lawsuit against City of Chicago police officers Michael Spaargaren and Christopher Florek (hereinafter, "Defendants."). A jury found in favor of Defendants on all claims on Sept. 28, 2011. Defendants now seek costs, while Jenkins asks this Court to deny costs on the ground that he is indigent.

Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1), there is a presumption that the losing party will pay costs unless the court finds otherwise in its discretion. See Rivera v. City of Chi., 469 F.3d 631, 634 (7th Cir. 2006). The Court may consider the losing party's indigence when deciding whether to award costs. Id. However, indigence does not automatically excuse the losing party from paying costs. Id. at 635 (citing Luckey v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 183 F.3d 730, 733--34 (7th Cir. 1999)). Rather, the losing party has the burden of demonstrating that he is incapable of paying costs at this time or in the future. Rivera, 469 F.3d at 635. He may do so by supplying documentation in the form of an affidavit or other documentary evidence. Id.

I. BACKGROUND

II. LEGAL STANDARD

If the non-movant demonstrates that he is indigent, the court should consider the amount of costs, the good faith of the losing party, and the closeness and difficulty of the issues. Id. No one factor is determinative, and the court should state its reasons for granting or denying costs. Id. at 635--36. The indigence exception should be construed narrowly. Id. at 636.

If the Court finds the non-movant is able to pay costs, it must carefully scrutinize the costs to determine if they are allowable. Bell v. Keating, No. 09 C 754, 2011 WL 2182117, at *1 (N.D. Ill. June 2, 2011). A prevailing party is entitled to recover costs if: (1) the expenses are allowable under 28 U.S.C. § 1920; and (2) the expenses are reasonable both in amount and necessity to the litigation. Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Prod., Inc., 58 F.3d 341, 345 (7th Cir. 1995).

III. ...


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