United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
R. Whalen, Magistrate Judge
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO REVIEW
COSTS (ECF No. 114) AND DENYING COSTS TO DEFENDANT (ECF No.
TERRENCE G. BERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Rhonda McGowen, Susan Ganoff, and Glenda Schnitz filed a
pro se civil complaint against Defendant Kroger
District I. Plaintiffs’ original complaint alleged
“discrimination, retaliation, and sexual
harassment” in violation of rights guaranteed by Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ECF No. 1; 42 U.S.C.A.
§§ 2000e–e-17 (West). On September 7, 2018,
Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen issued a Report and
Recommendation that recommended granting Defendant’s
Motion for Summary Judgment, dismissing Plaintiffs’
claims with prejudice. On October 31, 2018, this Court
entered an Order adopting the Report and Recommendation. ECF
November 9, 2018, Defendants timely filed a Bill of Costs,
requesting to tax costs in the amount of $7,557.65. ECF No.
111. The Office of the Clerk taxed those costs on November
13, 2018. ECF No. 112. Normally, this would trigger a
seven-day period in which any party can request review of the
costs. See ECF No. 12, PageID.1965. Here however,
because the three Plaintiffs in this case have proceeded
through the entire lawsuit pro se, the Court issued
a modified briefing schedule, giving Plaintiffs’ 14
days to file a motion to review the action of the Clerk or to
request review by this Court. ECF No. 113. On November 21,
2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Review Costs. ECF No. 114.
reasons laid out below, the Court hereby
GRANTS Plaintiff’s Motion to Review
Costs and DENIES Defendant Kroger Co. of
Michigan any fees or costs.
54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes
that the prevailing party should be allowed to tax certain
costs unless the court directs otherwise. Fed. R. Civ. P.
54(d). Costs that may be recovered are described in 28 U.S.C.
§ 1920. “The prevailing party has the burden of
establishing that the expenses it seeks to have taxed as
costs are authorized by applicable federal law, including
proof of necessity and reasonableness under 28 U.S.C. §
1920.” City of Sterling Heights v. United Nat'l
Ins. Co., No. 03-72773, 2008 WL 920135, at *3 (E.D.
Mich. Apr. 3, 2008) (quoting Keweenaw Bay Indian
Community v. Rising, No. 2:03-CV-111, 2005 WL 3535124
(W.D. Mich. Dec. 22, 2005)). The Eastern District of Michigan
has also promulgated a Local Rule for the taxation of costs
and incorporates a “Bill of Costs
Handbook” to be used in conjunction with the federal
rules and the Local Rules of this Court. See E.D.
Mich. L.R. 54.1; E.D. Mich. Bill of Costs Handbook
(rev. 11/13); Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d); and 28
prevailing party must file their Bill of Costs no later than
28 days after entry of judgment. E.D. Mich. L.R. 54.1.
Defendant timely filed their Bill of Costs nine days after
entry of judgment. ECF No. 111. After the Clerk has taxed the
costs, counsel for either side may file a motion to review
the action of the clerk and request review by the Court.
See E.D. Mich. L.R. 54.1; Bill of Costs
Handbook. The Clerk taxed the costs on November 13,
2018. ECF No. 112.
in this case are three individuals proceeding pro
se. In their Motion to Review Costs,
Plaintiffs said that they “cannot accept [the] Bill of
Costs.” ECF No. 114. What’s more, Defendant did
not mention an intent to seek costs-or express any belief
that they were entitled to costs-in either their Motion for
Summary Judgment or their Motion to Dismiss. ECF Nos. 70, 71.
Though Plaintiffs were not prevailing parties, the Court is
unable to conclude that their claims were frivolous or
entirely lacking in merit. Additionally, from the record it
is clear that Plaintiffs are in no position to pay
Defendants’ costs. Accordingly, the Court
GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion to Review
Costs and DENIES Defendant, Kroger Co. of
Michigan, any costs or fees incurred in defending this
reasons set forth above, Plaintiff’s Motion to Review
Costs is GRANTED and Defendant Kroger Co. of
Michigan’s request for costs and fees is