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Kristofek v. Village of Orland Hills

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

December 15, 2014

DAVID KRISTOFEK, Plaintiff,
v.
VILLAGE OF ORLAND HILLS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, DISTRICT JUDGE

This matter is before the court on Defendant Village of Orland Hills’ (Village) bill of costs and on Defendant Thomas Scully’s (Scully) bill of costs. For the reasons stated below, the bills of cost are granted in their entirety except for the costs relating to the special process servers

BACKGROUND

On August 7, 2014, this court granted Defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The Village now requests an award of $3, 454.45 for costs. Scully now requests $1, 727.40 for costs. Plaintiff David Kristofek (Kristofek) objects to the bills of costs.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) (Rule 54(d)) provides that the prevailing party shall be allowed to recover costs other than attorneys’ fees as a matter of course, unless a statute or other rule states otherwise or the court specifically disallows such costs. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1920 (setting forth costs that are generally recoverable). The Seventh Circuit has made it clear that in reviewing a bill of costs, the district court should keep in mind that “[t]here is a presumption that the prevailing party will recover costs, and 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). In addition to making sure that the requested costs are recoverable, a district court must also ensure that the costs are reasonable and “necessary to the litigation. . . .” Little v. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., 514 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 2008); see also Majeske v. City of Chicago, 218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000)(referring to recoverable and reasonable considerations and to the “heavy presumption in favor of awarding costs”).

DISCUSSION

I. Denial of Bill of Costs in Entirety

Kristofek contends that the bills of costs should be denied in their entirety, arguing that Defendants have failed to show that the costs were reasonable and necessary, that Defendants failed to comply with Local Rule 54.1, that Defendants failed to attach required affidavits to the bill of costs, and that Kristofek would suffer a financial hardship if forced to pay the costs. (Ans. 2, 8).

A. Overall Reasonableness of Costs

Kristofek argues in conclusory fashion that the bills of costs should be denied outright in their entirety because the amounts were not reasonable and necessary. There is a presumption that a court should award recoverable costs that are “reasonable and necessary.” Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc., 58 F.3d 341, 345 (7th Cir. 1995)(stating that “district courts enjoy wide latitude in determining and awarding reasonable costs”); see also Jones v. Chicago Bd. of Educ., 2013 WL 2422653, at *1 (N.D. Ill. 2013)(stating that “[t]here exists a strong presumption that the prevailing party may recover reasonable and necessary litigation costs from the losing party”); Life Plans, Inc. v. Security Life of Denver Insurance Company, 2014 WL 2879881, at *2 (N.D. Ill. 2014)(stating that the presumption in favor of awarding costs “does not, however, relieve the prevailing party of the burden of establishing that potentially recoverable costs it incurred were reasonable and necessary”); Interclaim Holdings Ltd. v. Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson & Poole, 2004 WL 557388, 1 (N.D. Ill. 2004)(stating that “[i]n reviewing a bill of costs, the court will determine whether the costs are allowable and reasonable both in their amount and their necessity to the litigation”).

Defendants have provided sufficient itemization and documentation for the court to assess the reasonableness of the requested costs. Defendants seek a total recovery of $5, 181.85. Such an amount is entirely reasonable considering the type of claims presented in this multi-defendant case, and the need to conduct discovery and prepare for dispositive motions. Defendants have shown that the costs itemized were related to the preparation of their defenses and dispositive motions. Defendants have also provided sufficient explanations in their filings to show that the costs incurred were reasonable and necessary. Kristofek has not shown that the costs requested were such that the bills of costs should be denied in their entirety.

B. Local Rule 54.1

Kristofek contends that Defendants failed to comply with Local Rule 54.1. Specifically, Kristofek asserts that $535 in court reporter attendance fees are not recoverable under Local Rule 54.1. However, as is explained below, such fees are in fact recoverable under Local Rule 54.1. In addition, even if such costs were not recoverable and should be stricken from the bill of ...


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