Snyder v. Phelps et al

Filing 234

RESPONSE re 223 Response to Defendants Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church's Objections to Bill of Costs filed by Albert Snyder. (Summers, Sean)

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Snyder v. Phelps et al Doc. 234 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MARYLAND ALBERT SNYDER, Plaintiff v. FRED W. PHELPS, SR., SHIRLEY L. PHELPS-ROPER, REBEKAH A. PHELPS-DAVIS, and WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH, INC. Defendants PLAINTIFF'S REPLY TO DEFENDANTS FRED PHELPS AND WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH, INC.'S OBJECTIONS TO THE BILL OF COSTS On November 16, 2007, plaintiff requested taxation of costs against defendants. Doc. No. 218. Thereafter, on November 30, 2007, defendants Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church, Inc. ("WBC") objected to the bill of costs. Doc. No 223. Defendants Phelps and WBC did not dispute or attempt to distinguish the law, as detailed by plaintiff. See Doc. No. 218. Defendants' first concern is that plaintiff sought donations to cover his costs. First, plaintiff's arrangement with a non-party does not change 28 U.S.C. 1920's policy favoring an award of costs. Next, defendants have presented zero authority to support their purported position. Finally, it is common practice for pro bono attorneys to seek costs and fees, compare 42 U.S.C. 1988 with defendants' position, and if the Court would reward defendants by not awarding costs, it would be against public policy because it would discourage pro bono activities and charitable donations. Civil Action No. 06-CV-1389 RDB 1 Defendants' reliance upon their post-trial motions is equally unavailing. Likewise, defendants offer no explanation concerning a stay pending appeal. Put differently, defendants fail to carry their burden concerning a stay. The deposition transcripts were necessary. Notably, defendants failed to cite any authority for their argument. Curiously, defendants claim that there are "large costs for depositions," but the stenographer was selected by Mr. Katz. In any event, the costs reflect the customary charges for deposition transcripts in the Mid-Atlantic region. Notably, plaintiff took four depositions: Fred Phelps, Shirley Phelps-Roper, Rebekah Phelps-Davis and the corporate designee. The remaining depositions were taken by defendants and plaintiff ordered copies. It is disingenuous to claim that the depositions were not "necessary" when it was the defendants that took the depositions.1 Objections concerning expediting transcripts are of no moment. Importantly, plaintiff only ordered expedited transcripts that defendants had already requested on an expedited basis. In other words, plaintiff needed a copy because defendants had ordered a copy and defendants presumably thought it was necessary for trial. Any other objections stated by defendants Phelps and WBC are frivolous and not worthy of a reply. Additionally, any attempt to "incorporate all previous filings and arguments" violates Local Rule 105.3. Defendants Phelps-Davis and Phelps-Roper make misrepresentations to this Honorable Court. Doc. No. 221. Tellingly, Mr. Katz's objections on behalf of his clients are almost identical, except for blatant misrepresentations. Indeed, this is yet another misrepresentation under oath that underscores the need for deposition transcripts. 2 1 WHEREFORE, plaintiff Albert Snyder respectfully requests that this Honorable Court award $10,170.33 for costs as a prevailing party. BARLEY SNYDER LLC By: /s/ Sean E. Summers Paul W. Minnich Sean E. Summers 100 East Market Street P.O. Box 15012 York, PA 17405-7012 (717) 846-8888 Craig T. Trebilcock Shumaker Williams PC 135 North George Street York, PA 17401 (717) 848-5134 Attorneys for Plaintiff 2128297.1 3 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on this date true and correct copies of Plaintiff's Reply to Defendants Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church's Objections to the Bill of Costs are being served in the following manner: Via ECF: Jonathan L. Katz, Esquire Marks & Katz, LLC 1400 Spring Street Suite 410 Silver Spring, MD 20910 Via first class mail: Shirley L. Phelps-Roper 3640 Churchill Road Topeka, KS 66604 Rebekah A. Phelps-Davis 1216 Cambridge Topeka, KS 66604 BARLEY SNYDER LLC By: /s/ Sean E. Summers Sean E. Summers 100 East Market Street P.O. Box 15012 York, PA 17405-7012 (717) 846-8888 Attorneys for Plaintiff Dated: December 14, 2007 4

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