United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
JOHN J. MANLEY D/B/A CHICAGO MARINE TOWING, Plaintiff,
BOAT/U.S., INC., et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant U.S. Boat's bill of costs .
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and
denies in part Defendant's bill of costs .
John Manley sued various entities (“Defendants”)
for breach of contract and defamation, among other theories.
See generally . Following a bench trial, the Court ruled
in favor of Defendants , and Defendants voluntarily
dismissed a counterclaim .
U.S. Boat, Inc. (“Defendant”) has filed a bill of
costs, seeking $2, 664.14. See generally . As is typical
in this litigation, Plaintiff has not responded to the bill.
See [139 at 4 n.1]. Defendant has also not included any
memoranda or written justification along with its bill, but
it has, at least, itemized its costs. [139 at 3-4.]
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) provides, in relevant part:
“costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed
to the prevailing party.” Federal statute dictates
which types of costs are allowable under this rule,
including: (1) Fees of the clerk and marshal; (2) Fees for
printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily
obtained for use in the case; * * * (4) Fees for
exemplification and the costs of making copies of any
materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use
in the case * * *.”
decision whether to award costs ultimately lies within the
sound discretion of the district court.” Marx v.
General Revenue Corp., 568 U.S. 371, 377 (2013). That
said, “Rule 54(d)(1) codifies a venerable presumption
that prevailing parties are entitled to costs.”
Id.; see also Contreras v. City of Chicago,
119 F.3d 1286, 1295 (7th Cir. 1997) (“Although a
district court has discretion when awarding costs, the
discretion is narrowly confined because of the strong
presumption created by Rule 54(d)(1) that the prevailing
party will recover costs.”) (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted). Notwithstanding this strong
presumption, the “party seeking an award of costs
carries the burden of showing that the requested costs were
necessarily incurred and reasonable.” Trustees of
Chicago Plastering Inst. Pension Trust v. Cork Plastering
Co., 570 F.3d 890, 906 (7th Cir. 2009). That is,
“[o]nce the prevailing party demonstrates that the
particular items of costs should be allowed, the losing party
then bears the burden of affirmatively showing that the taxed
costs are not appropriate.” Se-Kure Controls, Inc.
v. Vanguard Products Group, Inc., 873 F.Supp.2d 939, 944
(N.D. Ill. 2012) (citing Beamon v. Marshall & Ilsley
Trust Co., 411 F.3d 854, 864 (7th Cir. 2005). Costs
incurred for one's own convenience are not necessary and
therefore not recoverable. E.g., Boogaard v.
National Hockey League, 2017 WL 5517231, *2 (N.D. Ill.
Nov. 17, 2017) (citing Majeske v. City of Chicago,
218 F.3d 816, 825 (7th Cir. 2000); Haroco, Inc. v.
American Nat. Bank & Trust Co. of Chicago, 38 F.3d
1429, 1441 (7th Cir. 1994)).
seek four categories of costs-fees of the clerk, fees related
to deposing certain witnesses, witness appearance fees, and
copying costs. These costs are addressed in turn.
Pro hac vice fee
seeks to recover the $50 pro hac vice appearance fee its
attorney paid to appear in the Northern District for this
litigation. “Fees of the clerk” may generally be
taxed. 28 U.S.C. § 1920. The Seventh Circuit has
approved of taxing pro hac vice appearance fees as fees of
the clerk, but some district courts still refuse to do so.
U.S. v. Emergency Medical Associates of Illinois,
Inc., 436 F.3d 726, 730 (7th Cir. 2006);
Boogaard, 2017 WL 5517231 at *1 (reviewing
authorities and concluding that pro hac vice fees may be
taxed); but see Oleksy v. General Electric Company,
2016 WL 7217725, *2 (N.D. Ill. December 12, 2016) (noting
that most courts in the Seventh Circuit decline to tax pro
hac vice appearance fees); see also Kalitta Air L.L.C. v.
Central Texas Airborne System Inc., 741 F.3d 955, 958
(9th Cir. 2013) (providing a rationale for declining to
follow Emergency Medical Associates). As the Seventh
Circuit has approved of the practice and Plaintiff has failed
to offer any reason why this appearance fee should not be
taxed, the Court concludes that this fee is taxable.
also seeks transcription costs associated with taking four
depositions. “Fees for printed or electronically
recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the
case” are recoverable. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 54(d)(2).
Defendant seeks reimbursement for three 14-day transcripts
and one ordinary, 30-day transcript, along with $330 in ...