United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DONALD KATZ and KAREN S. MARKEL, individually, Plaintiffs,
THE VILLAGE OF BEVERLY HILLS, CHRIS WILSON, DANIEL GOSSELIN, JEANNE BAKER and JOHN DOE, jointly and severally, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REVIEW OF TAXED BILL OF COSTS
[ECF NO. 79]
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
March 31, 2016, this Court entered a judgment in favor of
Defendant. On April 28, 2016, Defendant filed a Bill
of Costs with the Clerk's Office. (ECF No. 74.) The next
day, the Clerk issued a Taxed Bill of Costs disallowing all
costs. Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) for
review of the Clerk's order taxing costs. (ECF No. 79.)
The motion has been fully briefed. For the reasons that
follow, this Court is granting in part and denying in part
taxation of costs are governed by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 54(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Under Rule
54(d)(1), a prevailing party may be awarded costs other than
attorney's fees unless a statute, the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, or a court order provides otherwise.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). 28 U.S.C. § 1920 provides a
detailed list of costs that may be taxed, such as docket fees
and “[f]ees for printed or electronically recorded
transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the
case[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1920(2) and (5). The moving
party has the burden to prove that the costs are authorized
by federal law, and that they were necessary and reasonable.
Berryman v. Hofbauer, 161 F.R.D. 341, 344 (E.D.
Local Rules of the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan provide further guidance in
assessing costs. Under Local Rule 54.1, costs are taxed by
Clerk in accordance with the Bill of Costs Handbook available
from the Clerk's Office. E.D. Mich. LR 54.1. The Bill of
Costs Handbook explains that in submitting a bill of costs,
parties are required to provide proof of the costs. The
handbook also states “[c]ounsel is responsible for
providing the required receipts, orders, stipulations or
other documentation to support their Bill of Costs. Costs
submitted without supporting documentation will be
denied.” Handbook § II. “[T]he party
objecting to the clerk's taxation has the burden of
persuading the court that it was improper.” BDT
Prod., Inc. v. Lexmark Int'l, Inc., 405 F.3d 415,
420 (6th Cir. 2005), abrogated in part by Taniguchi v.
Kan.Pac. Saipan, Ltd., 566 U.S. 560 (1998) (citing
Wright, Miller, & Kane, Federal Practice and
Procedure, Civil 3d § 2679 (1998)).
have requested $345.50 for depositions of Defendant's
officials; $89.00 for the costs of retrieving documents from
PACER and printing the Third Amended Complaint,
Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel, and Plaintiffs'
opposition brief to Defendant's motion for summary
judgment; and $20 for attorney fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1923(a). (ECF No. 74 at Pg ID 1022-24.) The Court will
now turn to each category of documents.
their Bill of Costs, Defendant stated that the cost of
deposition transcripts for four Village officials and
employees amounts to $345.50. (Id.) The Clerk denied
the costs because Defendant “fail[ed] to document how
the corresponding deposition transcripts were used.”
(ECF No. 78. at Pg ID 1096.)
their motion, Defendant states that the deposition
transcripts were necessary to determine whether it should be
used in their motion for summary judgment and reply brief.
(ECF No. 79 at Pg ID 1098.) Defendant also provides the
invoice reflecting the cost of the transcripts as an exhibit.
(Id. at Pg ID 1102.) Plaintiffs contend that
Defendant has failed to satisfy their burden because they
have not alleged the Clerk's action in not taxing the
cost of the deposition transcripts was improper. (ECF No. 81
at Pg ID 1183-84.)
Court agrees with Plaintiffs. Defendant does not attempt to
explain to the Court why the Clerk was improper in denying
their request. Further, Defendant fails to provide legal
support to indicate that this Court should reward them where
they failed to adhere to the requirements of this district.
The Bill of Costs Handbook makes clear that to be awarded
costs for deposition transcripts, a party must provide
receipts/invoices. Handbook § I.C. Defendant was also
required to provide supporting documentation to demonstrate
the need for the deposition transcripts:
If a transcript was used in support of a motion, counsel is
required to provide the taxation clerk with the title of the
motion, the date it was filed, and, if available, the exhibit
or attachment number. Excerpts of the deposition transcripts
used in support of a motion should be attached as an exhibit
to the motion. If not attached as an exhibit, counsel must
provide the page number of the motion or brief where the
transcript was referenced to be awarded costs. If the
transcript was used at trial, the date the transcript was
read into the record is to be noted on the supporting
documentation. Costs will be denied without the supporting
Court is therefore denying Defendant's request for costs