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Bonds v. Fizer

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 24, 2014

CHRISTOPHER BONDS, Plaintiff,
v.
DETECTIVE EDWIN FIZER and the CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Christopher Bonds, Plaintiff: Cynthia M. Rote, LEAD ATTORNEY, Delaney Law, Chicago, IL.

For Detective Fizer, City Of Chicago, Defendants: Kathryn M. Doi, LEAD ATTORNEY, City of Chicago (30 N LS), Chicago, IL.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Rubén Castillo, United States District Judge.

On May 20, 2010, this Court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Detective Edwin Fizer and the City of Chicago (collectively " Defendants" ), and against Plaintiff Christopher Bonds on Plaintiff's claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution, and indemnification. (R. 43, Min. Entry; R. 44, Mem. Op. & Order.) Presently before the Court is Defendants' bill of costs pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d). (R. 48, Defs.' Bill of Costs.) For the reasons stated below, the Court awards Defendants 56,252.11 in costs.

BACKGROUND

The Court assumes familiarity with the facts of this case as outlined in its May 20, 2010 Memorandum Opinion and Order granting summary judgment. See Bonds v. Fizer, 713 F.Supp.2d 752, 756-59 (N.D. Ill. 2010). The facts are repeated here only as they pertain to this bill of costs. On June 28, 2008, Plaintiff was arrested by Detective Fizer for an alleged assault on Plaintiff's wife's elderly aunt who resided with him and his family at the time. (R. 1, Comp1. ¶ ¶ 20-27.) The victim had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and senile dementia earlier that year, ( id.¶ 8), and Plaintiff contends that she fabricated a story that Plaintiff had " roughed her up" and was trying to kill her, ( id.¶ 17). At the time of the incident, Plaintiff was an officer with the National Guard and an instructor at Chicago State University. ( Id. ¶ 30.) Plaintiff alleges that due to his occupational standing, several television stations ran stories on his arrest and showed a photo of Plaintiff on the nightly news. ( Id.) The Chicago Tribune also ran an article detailing the allegations made in the arrest. ( Id.)

Plaintiff asserts that the media attention damaged his reputation in his community and with the National Guard. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 30-32.) He also contends that his arrest led to the loss of a promotion to major in the National Guard and $32,000.00 in potential income; to advance to the rank of major, he had to resign his commission in the National Guard and apply as a captain with the United States Army Reserve. ( Id. ¶ 32.) Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that he incurred physical suffering, mental distress, monetary damages, and humiliation as a result of his arrest. ( Id. ¶ 37.) On October 6, 2008, the victim of Plaintiff's alleged assault died and the charges against Plaintiff were dropped. ( Id. ¶ 31.)

On May 4, 2009, Plaintiff filed a three-count complaint against Defendants. ( Id.) In Count I, Plaintiff brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim for false arrest, detention, and imprisonment. ( Id.¶ ¶ 35-37). In Count II, Plaintiff brought a state law claim for malicious prosecution. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 38-41). In Count III, Plaintiff brought a state law claim for indemnification against the City of Chicago. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 42-44). On May 20, 2010, this Court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Counts I and III, and

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dismissed Count II without prejudice for want of jurisdiction. (R. 44, Mem. Op. & Order.) Plaintiff appealed this Court's ruling on summary judgment, and on July 21, 2010, the Seventh Circuit dismissed his appeal for failure to timely pay the required docketing fee. (R. 52, Notice of Appeal; R. 59, Final Order Mandate.)

On June 18, 2010, Defendants filed a bill of costs pursuant to Rule 54(d), seeking $7,047.00 in total costs. (R. 48, Bill of Costs.) Specifically, Defendants request $190.95 for exemplification and copies of papers; $307.00 for subpoena fees; $5,908.70 for deposition transcript costs; and $640.35 in other costs. ( Id. at 1,3.) Plaintiff responded to Defendants' bill of costs on September 14, 2010, (R. 64, Pl.'s Resp.), and Defendants replied on September 30, 2010, (R. 65, Defs.' Reply). Defendants' bill of costs is presently before the Court.

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to Rule 54(d), " costs -- other than attorney's fees -- should be allowed to the prevailing party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). A district court may not tax costs under Rule 54(d), however, " unless a federal statute authorizes an award of those costs." Republic Tobacco Co. v. N. A. Trading Co., Inc., 481 F.3d 442, 447 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-43, 107 S.Ct. 2494, 96 L.Ed.2d 385 (1987)). The list of recoverable costs authorized under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 include:

(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 ...

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