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Ramirez v. State of Illinois Department of Human Services

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

April 2, 2015

PAULO RAMIREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

RUBÉN CASTILLO, Chief District Judge.

On May 7, 2010, this Court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Defendant Illinois Department of Human Services and against Plaintiff Paulo Ramirez on Plaintiff's claim of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (R. 64, Min. Entry; R. 65, Mem. Op. & Order.) Plaintiff appealed this Court's ruling on summary judgment, and on September 21, 2010, the Seventh Circuit dismissed his appeal pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 42(b). (R. 69, Notice of Appeal; R. 86, Order.) Presently before the Court is Defendant's bill of costs pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d). (R. 67, Def.'s Bill of Costs.) Defendant seeks $2, 009.09 in total costs. (Id. at 1.) Specifically, Defendant requests $1, 941.69 for deposition transcript costs and $67.40 for copying costs. (Id. ) Plaintiff argues that costs should not be awarded because he is indigent and unable to pay the costs that Defendant seeks. (R. 82, Pl.'s Resp. at 2-3.) Alternatively, Plaintiff asks the Court to reduce the amount of costs by $88.75. (Id. at 3.) For the reasons stated below, the Court awards Defendant $1, 950.34 in costs.

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. Atl. 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 (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 obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees...; [and]
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services...

28 U.S.C. § 1920 (1)-(6).

Even if authorized by statute, however, "a cost must be both reasonable and necessary to the litigation for a prevailing party to recover it." Little v. Mitsubishi Motors N. Am., Inc., 514 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 2008). In short, the determination of whether to tax costs against the losing party requires two inquiries: "(1) whether the cost imposed on the losing party is recoverable and (2) if so, whether the amount assessed for that item was reasonable." Majeske v. City of Chi., 218 F.3d 816, 824 (7th Cir. 2000). "There is a presumption that the prevailing party will recover costs, and the losing party bears the burden of an affirmative showing that the taxed costs are not appropriate." Beamon v. Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co., 411 F.3d 854, 864 (7th Cir. 2005). The prevailing party then "carries the burden of showing that the requested costs were necessarily incurred and reasonable." Trs. of the Chi. Plastering Inst. Pension Trust v. Cork Plastering Co., 570 F.3d 890, 906 (7th Cir. 2009). Ultimately, the decision of whether to award costs is within the Court's discretion. M.T. Bonk Co. v. Milton Bradley Co., 945 F.2d 1404, 1409 (7th Cir. 1991).

ANALYSIS

I. Whether Plaintiff is ...


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