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Clearlamp, LLC v. LKQ Corp.

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

November 29, 2016

CLEARLAMP, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
LKQ CORPORATION, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Joan H. Lefkow Judge

         On March 18, 2016, the court entered summary judgment in favor of LKQ Corporation. (Dkts. 193, 194.) On April 18, 2016, under 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d), LKQ filed a bill of costs in the amount of $96, 382.83. (Dkt. 201.) On May 10, 2016, Clearlamp, LLC, filed an opposition to the bill of costs. (Dkt. 207.) For the foregoing reasons, the court taxes costs in the amount of $10, 347.49 and directs the parties to confer regarding reasonable airfares to be included.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) states that “[u]nless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party.” Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1920, A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the following:

(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;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this title.

         While the decision to award costs is left to the discretion of the trial court, there is a “strong presumption” that the prevailing party will recover its costs under Rule 54(d). Contreras v. City of Chi., 119 F.3d 1286, 1295 (7th Cir. 1997); see also Northbrook Excess & Surplus Ins. Co. v. Proctor & Gamble Co., 924 F.2d 633, 642 (7th Cir. 1991). In determining whether to award costs against the losing party, the court must determine “(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). The “party seeking an award of costs carries the burden of” making this showing. Trs. of the Chi. Plastering Inst. Pension Tr. v. Cork Plastering Co., 570 F.3d 890, 906 (7th Cir. 2009).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Fees of the Clerk and Marshal-28 U.S.C. § 1920(1)

         LKQ seeks $31, 961 as fees of the Clerk and Marshal made up of (1) $29, 600.00 in costs relating to filing for inter partes review, (2) $2, 286.00 in costs for service of subpoenas to third-party witnesses, and (3) $75.00 in costs associated with obtaining assignment histories. LKQ cites no precedent for a court to award filing fees for inter partes review under 28 U.S.C. § 1920(1) and has otherwise failed to convince the court that such fees are taxable in the present situation. Accordingly, the court declines to tax LKQ's inter partes review filing fees. LKQ is entitled to its costs for serving subpoenas to third parties. These costs, however, will be reduced to $510.00 to reflect one hour-since the invoices do not reflect the amount of time it took to effect service-of the hourly rate charged by the U.S. Marshals Service for service of process.[1]See Clarendon Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Medina, No. 08 C 4245, 2010 WL 3526515, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 1, 2010) (noting that service fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1920(1) are capped by the U.S. Marshals Service rates and that “[w]hen an invoice fails to reflect the time spent effectuating service, courts typically award costs for one hour”). Clearlamp does not object to $75.00 for obtaining certified assignment histories. As such, those fees are taxed.

         Accordingly, the court will tax $585.00 for fees of the Clerk and Marshal under 28 U.S.C. § 1920(1).

         II. Fees for Court Reporting and Transcripts-28 U.S.C. § 1920(2)

         LKQ seeks a total of $25, 256.56 as fees for court reporting and transcripts.

         A. No Objection

         Clearlamp does not object to the fees, which have been reduced to the reflect the Judicial Conference rate, incurred to obtain the October 18, 2012, April 7, 2014, March 25, 2015, September 2, 2015, September 30, 2015, and March 4, 2016 hearing transcripts, the transcript and video deposition of Robert Sandau, and the deposition transcript of James Devlin.

         Accordingly, the court will tax these fees in the amount reflected in the table at the end of this section.

         B. Inter Partes ...


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