United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division
DARROW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant LPS Real Estate Data Solutions,
Inc.'s (“LPS”) Supplemental Motion for
Attorney Fees, ECF No. 115. The motion incorporates by
reference an earlier LPS motion for fees, ECF No. 92. In
addition, Plaintiff Fidlar Technologies
(“Fidlar”), in its response to the initial motion
for fees, ECF No. 107, contests certain portions of LPS's
claimed costs as the prevailing party. See Bill of
Costs, ECF No. 94. For the following reasons, LPS's
motion for attorney's fees is DENIED; its bill of costs
is ALLOWED in its entirety.
Court granted summary judgment for LPS on all of Fidlar's
claims on March 5, 2015. ECF No. 89. No claims remaining,
judgment entered on March 23, 2015. ECF No. 91. LPS's
motion for fees followed on April 6, 2015, along with its
bill of costs. On April 21, 2015, both parties requested that
the Court refrain from ruling on the fees motions until the
pending appeal was resolved. ECF No. 112. After it was,
see Mandate of USCA, ECF No. 117, on February 4,
2016, LPS filed its supplemental motion for fees related to
litigation of the appeal.
I. Legal Standard on Motions for Costs and
costs other than attorney's fees are allowed to the
prevailing party in a civil action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1).
These expenses will be allowed only if they are reasonable,
both in amount and necessity to the litigation. Shah v.
Vill. of Hoffman Estates, No. 00-C-4404, 2003 WL
21961362, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Aug.14, 2003). “The rule
provides a presumption that the losing party will pay costs
but grants the court discretion to direct otherwise.”
Rivera v. City of Chicago, 469 F.3d 631, 634 (7th
Cir. 2006). A clerk may tax undisputed costs without need for
the prevailing party to file a motion with the court.
contrast, “[a] claim for attorney's fees and
related nontaxable expenses must be made by motion[.]”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(2)(A). This motion must be filed no more
than 14 days after the entry of judgment, and must state or
estimate the amount sought, as well as specifying the
statute, rule, or other grounds entitling the movant to a fee
award. Id. R. 54(d)(2)(B). A motion is required
because, while a prevailing party is presumptively entitled
to costs, he is not normally entitled to attorney's fees
under the “American Rule, ” the “bedrock
principle [by which] . . . [e]ach litigant pays his own
attorney's fees, win or lose, unless a statute or
contract provides otherwise.” Baker Botts L.L.P. v.
ASARCO LLC, 135 S.Ct. 2158 (2015) (quoting Hardt v.
Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., 560 U.S. 242, 252-253
argues that LPS is not entitled to some of the deposition,
copying, and subpoena fees it claims because those costs were
incurred in pursuit of LPS's voluntarily dismissed
counterclaims, Resp. Mot. Fees 17-18; and that as a matter of
law, LPS is not entitled to the telephone call expenses and
courier service fees it has included in the bill of costs,
id. at 20. LPS responds that the deposition,
subpoena, and copy fees Fidlar contests arose from
depositions used by Fidlar in its case in chief against LPS,
Rep. Mot. Fees 8-9, and that all of the costs to which Fidlar
objects categorically are in fact taxable, id. at
Costs Associated with Counterclaims
argues that the numerous depositions of county recorders in
this case were only taken to defend against LPS's
counterclaims for tortious interference, upon which LPS did
not prevail because it dismissed them. Resp. Mot. Fees 17.
See Stip. Dismissal, ECF No. 67 (stipulating to the
dismissal of Counts I-III of LPS's counterclaim).
LPS's counterclaim accused Fidlar of inducing 81 counties
to terminate contracts with LPS, see Am.
Counterclaim 13-17, ECF No. 19, and so Fidlar argues that in
order to defend against the claim, and for that purpose only,
it was required to depose the recorders of these counties, at
substantial expense to both parties. Resp. Mot. Fees 17.
Essentially, Fidlar is claiming that the costs associated
with the deposition of each county recorder was a consequence
only of claims that are wholly distinct from the suit it lost
as LPS observes, Fidlar argued consistently during the
litigation that a key fact for its own claims was whether and
to what extent LPS had been authorized by the various
counties to use “web harvesting” technology on
their databases. See Fidlar's Resp. Mot. Quash
6, ECF No. 54 (“To prove its case in chief, Fidlar must
provide evidence regarding what, if any, authorization LPS
received from the counties for use of its
web-harvester.”). Most tellingly, Fidlar relied upon,
and the Court reviewed, extensive deposition testimony from
various county recorders in defending its claims at summary
judgment. See, e.g., Fidlar Resp. Mot. Summ. J.
68-74, ECF No. 82. Fidlar's argument at summary judgment
was that LPS had violated the terms of its agreements with
each of these county recorders, and had thus accessed its
“Laredo system” in an unauthorized manner.
Id. at 71-72. In support, Fidlar relied heavily on
deposition testimony from the recorders about how the
counties had understood the contracts they made with LPS.
Id. Fidlar cannot now assert that this testimony,
and the costs associated with its collection, were not
integral to claims upon which LPS is admittedly the
being Fidlar's only objections to LPS's transcript,
copying, and subpoena-related fees, those fees are allowed in
Costs for Faxes, Couriers, ...