United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge
November 2013, this civil rights suit was filed by Otha
Anderson (Plaintiff), an inmate at Menard Correctional
Center, under 42 U.S.C. 1983. On August 4, 2016, the
undersigned granted Defendants' summary judgment motion.
Judgment was entered in favor of Defendants and against
Plaintiff the same day.
before the Court is Defendants' August 8, 2016 bill of
costs (Doc. 132), to which Plaintiff objected via
“Motion to Dismiss Defendants' Bill of Costs”
a week later (Doc. 135), and Defendants replied on August 30,
2016 (Doc. 140). Defendants seek to recover just the $246.90
incurred in deposing Plaintiff in this lawsuit, as reflected
on the bill of Midwest Litigation Services (Doc. 132, p. 4).
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) entitles prevailing parties
to recover their costs, other than attorneys' fees.
Richardson v. City of Chicago, 740 F.3d 1099, 1102
(7th Cir. 2014). Rule 54(d) provides that unless a
federal statute, rule, or court order says contra, costs
“should be allowed” to the prevailing party. In
other words, under Rule 54(d) “prevailing parties
presumptively recover their costs.” Loomis v.
Exelon, 658 F.3d 667, 674 (7th Cir. 2011).
Accord Myrick v. WellPoint, Inc., 764 F.3d 662, 666
(7th Cir. 2014), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct. 1508
54(d)(1) “codifies a venerable presumption that
prevailing parties are entitled to costs.” Marx v.
General Revenue Corp., __U.S. __, 133 S.Ct. 1166, 1172
(2013). Stated another way, Rule 54(d) establishes a strong
presumption that the prevailing party will be awarded the
costs of litigation identified in 28 U.S.C. 1920. See,
e.g., Montanez v. Simon, 755 F.3d 547, 557 (7th Cir.),
cert. denied sub nom. Montanez v. Chicago Police Officers
FICO, 135 S.Ct. 459 (2014); Johnson v. Cypress
Hill, 641 F.3d 867, 873 (7th Cir. 2011);
U.S. Neurosurgical, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 572
F.3d 325, 333 (7th Cir. 2009). And the
“process for awarding costs is intended to be
summary.” Extra Equipamentos E Exportacao, Ltda. v.
Case Corp., 541 F.3d 719, 727 (7th Cir.
2008), cert. denied, 555 U.S. 1175 (2009).
in common parlance, the word “costs” often is
equated with “expenses, ” the “concept of
taxable costs under Rule 54(d) is more limited” -- such
costs are modest in scope and “a fraction of the
nontaxable expenses borne by litigants.” Taniguchi
v. Kan.Pacific Saipan, Ltd., __U.S.__, 132 S.Ct. 1997,
2006 (2012). The items of recoverable costs are limited by
statute. In 28 U.S.C. 1920, Congress delineated the specific
categories of costs which a district court can award. Those
(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 under section 1923 of this title; [and]
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts [and] …
question, Defendants are the prevailing parties in this case.
They seek to recover a proper item of costs. They have
provided an affidavit showing that the deposition transcript
was necessary to litigate this case. And the cost of the
transcript is reasonable (the $2.90 price per page is less
than the maximum allowable transcript rate set by the
Judicial Conference of the United States).
losing party in the litigation, Plaintiff shoulders the
burden of demonstrating that costs sought are not
allowable. See Harney v. City of Chicago, 702 F.3d
916, 927 (7th Cir. 2012), citing Beamon v.
Marshall & Ilsley Trust Co.,411 F.3d 854, 864
(7th Cir. 2005)(“… the losing party
bears the burden of an affirmative showing that taxed costs
are not appropriate.”); Johnson v. Target
Corp., 487 Fed. App'x 298, cert. denied,133 S.Ct. 1735 (2013) (“A prevailing party …