Bell v. Rock-Tenn
Order GRANTING Dft's 44 MOTION to Tax Costs in the amount of $1,331.35 as set out. Signed by Senior Judge Callie V. S. Granade on 8/22/2016. (copy mailed to Plf on 8/23/16) (tot)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
WESTROCK SERVICES, INC.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-00148-CG-C
This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Tax Costs (Doc. 44) and Bill
of Costs (Doc. 45) filed by WestRock Services, Inc. (“Defendant”). For the reasons set
forth herein, Defendant’s motion to tax costs is due to be GRANTED.
The Court granted summary judgment to Defendant and dismissed Reginald
Bell’s (“Plaintiff”) pro se claims with prejudice. (Docs. 42 & 43). Defendant filed the
current motion seeking remuneration for deposition and photocopying costs. (Doc.
44, pp. 2-3). Defendant requests $895.10 for transcripts of Plaintiff’s deposition and
the court reporter fee as well as $436.25 for “preparing copies of documents to
produce during the course of discovery, as exhibits to Plaintiff’s deposition and to
submit as exhibits in support of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment in
defending this case,” for a total of $1,331.35. Id. at 2-4. Defendant’s counsel
submitted an affidavit supporting these costs. (Doc. 44-1). Plaintiff did not respond.
Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states, “Unless a federal
statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs—other than
attorney’s fees—should be allowed to the prevailing party.” Outside of explicit
statutory authorization, the following is a comprehensive list of allowable costs:
A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the
(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
(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.
A bill of costs shall be filed in the case and, upon allowance, included in
the judgment or decree.
28 U.S.C. § 1920 (2012). Plaintiff has the burden of showing that the costs claimed
by Defendant are not taxable. See Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Nall’s Newton Tire,
Civ. Action No. 14-110-CG-M, 2015 WL 8207478, at *5 (S.D. Ala. Dec. 7, 2015).
Deposition costs are included in § 1920(2). See EEOC v. W&O, Inc., 213 F.3d
600, 620 (11th Cir. 2000). Costs associated with deposition transcripts are taxable
only if the deposition was necessary for use in the case. Id. at 620-21. Deposition
costs are not taxable if “‘merely incurred for convenience, to aid in thorough
preparation, or for purposes of investigation only.’” Id. at 620 (quoting Goodwall
Constr. Co. v. Beers Constr. Co., 824 F. Supp. 1044, 1066 (N.D. Ga. 1992)).
Defendant’s counsel certifies that the deposition of Plaintiff was “necessary to
Defendant’s defense” and that the testimony “was used by the Defendant in support
of its position on summary judgment.” (Doc. 44-1, p. 3). Indeed, Defendant cited to
the deposition throughout its motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 33, pp. 3-16, 20,
22-24, 26, 29-30). The Court finds that the deposition was necessary for use by
Defendant, and thus the costs of the deposition are taxable against Plaintiff.
Photocopying costs are included in § 1920(4). In determining whether to
award copying costs, “the court should consider whether the prevailing party could
have reasonably believed that it was necessary to copy the papers at issue.” W&O,
Inc., 213 F.3d at 623. The Eleventh Circuit has held that costs associated with
producing documents in discovery are taxable. Id. Defendant’s counsel declares that
the copying costs were incurred “in preparing and obtaining discovery and in
preparing and serving pleadings of Plaintiff in this case,” including copies of
documents made to respond to Plaintiff’s interrogatories and requests for
production of documents. (Doc. 44-1, p. 3). The Court finds that the photocopies
were necessary for use by Defendant, and therefore the copying costs are
The costs claimed by Defendant are taxable against Plaintiff under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1920. Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to tax costs in the amount of $1,331.35 is
DONE and ORDERED this 22nd day of August, 2016.
/s/ Callie V. S. Granade
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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