Aldridge v. City of Warren et al
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS BILL OF COSTS 66 . Signed by District Judge Judith E. Levy. (TBan)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 15-cv-12366
Judith E. Levy
United States District Judge
City of Warren, Officer Colin
McCabe, and Kimberley Teolis,
Mag. Judge Elizabeth A. Stafford
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ BILL OF COSTS 
Before the Court is defendants’ bill of costs, filed under Fed. R. App.
P. 39(e), arising from plaintiff Joshua Aldridge’s appeal of the Court’s
orders granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment and imposing
sanctions on plaintiff’s counsel, the firm of Christopher Trainor &
Associates. (Dkt. 66.)
This case involved alleged violations of plaintiff’s civil rights by
On January 12, 2016, the Court granted
defendants’ motion for summary judgment and permitted defendants to
file a motion for sanctions. (See Dkt. 30.) On March 21, 2016, the Court
granted the motion for sanctions, and issued a final order detailing the
sanctions on May 22, 2016. (Dkt. 53.)
Plaintiff appealed the Court’s orders granting defendants’ motions
for summary judgment and for sanctions. On March 30, 2017, the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion affirming both
orders. (Dkt. 65.)
Defendants have now filed a bill of costs pursuant to Fed. R. App.
P. 39(e). (Dkt. 66.) Defendants seek costs totaling $463.27 for three
transcripts relevant to the appeal: $106.27 for a transcript of the
December 23, 2015 hearing on the request to stay discovery (Dkt. 54);
$136.00 for a transcript of the January 12, 2016 hearing on the motion
for summary judgment (Dkt. 32); and $221.00 for a transcript of the
March 21, 2016 hearing on the motion for sanctions. (Id. at 1–2.)
Plaintiff objects to the bill of costs on two grounds: (1) the $10,000
maximum sanction imposed by the Court included court transcripts for
all fees and costs incurred after the safe-harbor letter, which was sent in
early January 2016, and (2) defendants have not shown the December
23, 2015 hearing transcript was necessary to the appeal.
First, the $10,000 maximum sanction was imposed under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 11, and included “fees and costs.” (Dkt. 53.) Plaintiff’s counsel
argues this sanction included the costs for transcripts of the January 12,
2016 and March 21, 2017 hearings. But costs under Rule 11 are imposed
for reasons and conduct separate from the costs a party may recover
under Fed. R. App. P. 39.
Rule 11 sanctions are imposed both for “conduct tied to a particular
pleading” and “conduct related to the case as a whole,” including when
counsel or a litigant “insist[s] on a position after it is no longer tenable.”
Runfola & Assoc., Inc. v. Spectrum Reporting II, Inc., 88 F.3d 368, (6th
Cir. 1998) (Cohn, J., concurring). And costs awarded under Fed. R. App.
P. 39 are granted because a party was forced to defend on appeal. As
Rule 39(a) states in relevant part, “if a judgment is affirmed, costs are
taxed against the appellant.” Fed. R. App. 39(a)(2). Therefore, any costs
awarded to defendants under the order imposing sanctions is exclusive
of costs incurred as a result of the appeal.
Accordingly, the order
imposing sanctions did not include the costs for transcripts of the
January 12, 2016 and March 21, 2017 hearings that defendants used on
appeal. Defendants are entitled to recover the $136.00 and $221.00 in
Defendants also seek $106.27 in costs for the transcript of the
December 23, 2015 hearing. Plaintiff’s counsel contends defendants have
made no showing that the transcript was necessary for the appeal. But
plaintiff’s counsel argued the Court erred by entering a stay of discovery
during that conference, and counsels’ conduct during and following that
conference factored into the Court’s decision to impose sanctions and was
therefore part of plaintiff’s appeal.
(See Dkt. 53 at 7.)
transcript was necessary for purposes of determining whether the Court
abused its discretion in imposing sanctions, and defendants are entitled
to recover the costs of this transcript.
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the bill of costs, which includes
transcript fees for the December 23, 2015 hearing ($106.27), January 12,
2016 hearing ($136.00), and March 21, 2017 hearing ($221.00), for a total
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: April 14, 2017
Ann Arbor, Michigan
s/Judith E. Levy
JUDITH E. LEVY
United States District Judge
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document was served
upon counsel of record and any unrepresented parties via the Court’s
ECF System to their respective email or First Class U.S. mail addresses
disclosed on the Notice of Electronic Filing on April 14, 2017.
s/Felicia M. Moses
FELICIA M. MOSES
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