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Adams v. City of Montgomery

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

July 7, 2014

WILLIE ADAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF MONTGOMERY, Defendant. WILLIE ADAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF MONTGOMERY, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

W. KEITH WATKINS, Chief District Judge.

This court entered a memorandum opinion and order granting summary judgment and a final judgment in favor of Defendants on September 27, 2013. (Docs. # 90, 91.) The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment on June 20, 2014. ( See Doc. # 101.) The court's final judgment includes no directive concerning taxation of costs.

Before the court is Defendant City of Montgomery's Bill of Costs and Motion for Costs in which the City seeks $2, 595.70. (Docs. # 92, 93.) Specifically, the City requests $2, 163.45 for transcript expenses and $432.25 for the cost of making copies. The Bill of Costs and Motion for Costs are supported by the Affidavit of Attorney Stacy Reed explaining her computation of taxable costs.

Plaintiff Willie Adams opposes the City's motion. (Doc. # 95.) Plaintiff asserts that the deposition and trial transcripts for which the City is seeking reimbursement were not used to support the City's motion for summary judgment. Even if the contested transcript expenses are allowable, Plaintiff argues that the City's Bill of Costs includes additional expenses related to transcript preparation - such as copies of exhibits and the provision of disks and mini-transcripts - which Plaintiff says are non-reimbursable "[l]itigation support material." (Doc. # 95, at 2.) Plaintiff also challenges the City's request for fees for copying expenses because the copies were unnecessary and made merely for defense counsel's convenience. (Doc. # 95, at 2-3.) The City was given an opportunity to file a reply ( see Doc. # 102), but has not done so.

I. STANDARDS FOR TAXING COSTS

Rule 56(d)(1) provides that "costs... should be allowed to the prevailing party" absent some contrary federal statute, federal rule, or court order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d)(1). Even so, a court retains the discretion to refuse to tax costs. Congress has provided that the following costs are taxable:

(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.

28 U.S.C. § 1920. Courts are bound by the limitations of 28 U.S.C. § 1920 and may not allow taxation of additional costs. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J. T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 445 (1987). The City's request ...


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