United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
WALLACE CAPEL, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is Defendant's Motion to Tax Costs (Doc. 78).
The District Judge has referred the motion to the undersigned
Magistrate Judge “for the entry of any orders as may be
appropriate.” Doc. 79. On February 22, 2019, the
undersigned entered an Order (Doc. 80) directing Plaintiff to
respond to the motion on or before March 6, 2019. On February
25, 2019, Plaintiff filed her “Objection and Motion for
Reconsideration to Order Number 79-1 and Strike of
Defendant's Motion to tax Cost Based on Record Evidence
Rule” (Doc. 81). Thereafter, on February 28, 2019, the
District Judge entered an Order (Doc. 83) overruling
Plaintiff's objection to the referral of the motion to
the undersigned and advising that the undersigned would
“address Plaintiff's arguments about
Defendant's motion.” As such, the matter is ripe
for recommendation to the District Judge.
54(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides
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.” This provision creates a presumption in favor
of awarding costs to a prevailing party. See Manor
Healthcare Corp. Lomelo, 929 F.2d 633, 639 (11th Cir.
1991). If a party challenges taxation of costs, the burden
lies with the challenging party to show the costs are not
authorized and should not be taxed against the losing party.
EEOC v. W & O, Inc., 213 F.3d 600, 620 (11th
U.S.C. § 1920 enumerates what costs may be taxed in
favor of a prevailing party. The statute provides as follows:
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 . . . [;]
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of
interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of
special interpretation services[.]
the undersigned's obligation is to determine, first,
whether Defendant is a prevailing party who is entitled to
the recovery of costs and, if so, second, whether the costs
Defendant seeks to have taxed against Plaintiff are
authorized pursuant to the statute.
January 28, 2019, the District Judge entered a Memorandum
Opinion and Order (Doc. 73) overruling Plaintiff's
objections to the undersigned's Recommendation (Doc. 71)
that Defendant's motion for summary judgment be granted
and that judgment be entered in favor of Defendant.
Consistent with his opinion, the District Judge entered a
Final Judgment (Doc. 74) in favor of Defendant, thereby
rendering Defendant the prevailing party in this litigation.
According to its Bill of Costs, Defendant seeks recovery of
$496.50 in costs. See Doc. 78-1. This amount
includes $466.50 “for printed or electronically
recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the
case” and $30.00 for “printing.” By
affidavit of its attorney, Ronald Flowers, Defendant asserts
that these costs were necessarily incurred in defending
against Plaintiff's claims against it, and that Defendant
utilized the materials reflected on the Bill of Costs in
support of its successful motion for summary judgment.
Affidavit of Ronald Flowers, Doc. 78-1 at 4, ¶ 4.
Defendant's Itemization of Costs indicates that the
“transcripts” obtained by Defendant were in fact
transcripts of the deposition of Plaintiff taken on April 18,
2018, and May 7, 2018. Doc. 78-1 at 6. Defendant has also
provided corresponding invoices showing that commensurate
amounts were charged to Defendant's law firm by the court
reporter. Doc. 78-1 at 7-8. Finally, Defendant has provided
an invoice showing 150 pages of printing at twenty cents per
page. Defendant's costs are plainly authorized for
taxation by the statute. See § 1920(2) &
can be no doubt that Defendant's procurement of
Plaintiff's deposition was integral in defending against
Plaintiff's allegations, and that the cost of producing
transcripts of the deposition were necessarily incurred in
Defendant's successful effort to obtain summary judgment.
Indeed, Defendant cited and relied upon Plaintiff's
deposition extensively throughout its brief in support of its
motion for summary judgment. See generally Doc. 57.
Likewise, both the undersigned, in the Recommendation (Doc.
71) that Defendant's motion be granted, and the District
Judge, in his Order (Doc. 73) adopting that Recommendation,
relied upon Plaintiff's deposition in both finding
undisputed facts ...