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Anna Beardsley v. Officer Casey

December 20, 2012

ANNA BEARDSLEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER CASEY, OFFICER BOWMAN, OFFICER SWIERCZYNSKI, AND THE VILLAGE OF RIVER FOREST, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' Bill of Costs.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 4, 2011 Plaintiff Anna Beardsley ("Plaintiff") filed a Complaint against the Village of River Forest, and Police Officers Casey, Bowman, and Swierczynski (collectively, the "Defendants"). In it, Plaintiff alleged an excessive force claim against the three Officer Defendants (Count I), a battery claim against the three Officer Defendants (Count II), an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against the three Officer Defendants (Count III), and a claim against the Village of River Forest under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act under 745 ILL. COMP. STAT. 10/9-102 (Count IV).

Ultimately, the case proceeded to trial on Plaintiff's Section 1983 excessive force claim (Count I). On July 26, 2012, the jury returned a verdict in favor of all three Defendants.

On August 23, 2012, Defendants filed their Bill of Costs pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 54(d) and Local Rule 54.1. These rules permit recovery for the litigation costs specified in 28 U.S.C. § 1920.

On September 5, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiff thirty (30) days to respond to Defendants' Bill of Costs. [See Dkt. 70]. To date, Plaintiff has failed to file a response.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) provides that, "[u]nless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs - other than attorney's fees - should be allowed to the prevailing party." FED. R. CIV. P. 54(d)(1). Specifically, the recoverable costs include: (1) fees of the clerk and marshal; (2) fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts; (3) fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses; (4) fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies; (5) docket fees under section 1923; and (6) compensation of court appointed experts, interpreters, and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this title. 28 U.S.C. § 1920.

While Rule 54(d) provides a strong presumption that the prevailing party will recover costs, the "court must review a proposed bill of costs 'in scrupulous detail.'" Shah v. Vill. of Hoffman Estates, No. 00 C 4404, 2003 WL 21961362, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 14, 2003). The claimed expenses must be "reasonable, both in amount and necessity to the litigation." Id. The Court is vested with wide discretion to determine whether and to what extent costs may be awarded to the prevailing party. Blackwell v. Kalinowski, No. 08 C 7257, 2011 WL 3555770, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 11, 2011). The losing party has the burden of showing that the claimed costs are not appropriate. Id.

III. DISCUSSION

While Plaintiff failed to object to any of the Defendants' claimed costs, Defendants are not automatically entitled to their submitted costs. Instead, the Court may only impose costs upon the Plaintiff if Defendants show that their expenses are reasonable, "both in amount and necessity to the litigation." Harkins v. Riverboat Serv., Inc., 286 F.Supp.2d 976, 979 (N.D. Ill. 2003).

Defendants seek a total of $7,459.60 in costs. Specifically, Defendants request: (1) $3,543.10 in costs for court reporter services and transcripts; (2) $264.99 in costs for witnesses; and (3) ...


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