O'Brien v. The St. Louis Public Schools District et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Review of and Reduction to Defendants' Bill of Costs [# 143 ] is GRANTED IN PART as set out above. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to File Out of T ime, If Necessary [# 145 ] is DENIED as moot. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall tax the following costs in favor of St. Louis Public Schools District, et al., and against Veronica O'Brien: Fees of the Clerk $350.00;Fees for transcripts necessarily obtained $3738.45;Witness fees $15.00;Fees for exemplification and copies $175.87;TOTAL TAXABLE COSTS $4279.32. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on October 11, 2012. (BRP)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ST. LOUIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DISTRICT, et al.,
Case No. 4:10-CV-1094 CDP
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
After a jury found in defendants’ favor and a final judgment was entered,
defendants filed a Motion for Bill of Costs. After receiving no objections, the
Clerk of Court taxed those costs against plaintiff Veronica O’Brien on October 1,
2012, in accordance with Local Rule 54-8.03(A). Two days later, O’Brien filed a
Motion for Review of and Reduction to Defendants’ Bill of Costs, arguing that
some of the costs taxed are not permitted under 28 U.S.C. § 1920.
Defendants oppose O’Brien’s motion as untimely. Local Rule 54-8.03(A)
provides, in relevant part, that:
Each party objecting to a bill of costs shall file, within fourteen (14)
days of being served, a memorandum stating specific objections. . . .
The Clerk shall tax costs as claimed in the bill if no timely objection
Defendants argue that any objections filed outside this fourteen-day period are
untimely and should not be considered.
O’Brien responds that Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1) allows a party objecting to a
Bill of Costs to do so after costs are taxed. That Rule provides, in relevant part:
The clerk may tax costs on 14 days’ notice. On motion served within
the next 7 days, the court may review the clerk’s action.
I agree that Rule 54(d)(1) gives the court the discretion to review motions filed
within seven days of the time the costs are taxed, and so I will consider O’Brien’s
objections. See McDowell v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 758 F.2d 1293, 1294 (8th Cir.
1985) (acknowledging that a party may make a timely motion for review of an
award of costs under Rule 54(d)).
O’Brien argues that the costs of certain transcripts, in addition to costs for a
demonstrative exhibit, binders, and exhibit tabs, are not taxable under 28 U.S.C. §
1920. I find that the demonstrative exhibit, as well as the transcripts for the
motion hearing and O’Brien’s cross-examination, were necessarily obtained for
use in the case because of O’Brien’s extraordinary credibility issues, and therefore
are appropriately taxed under 28 U.S.C. § 1920. McDowell, 758 F.2d at 1294
(costs of transcripts necessary for use are taxable); Cefalu v. Village of Elk Grove,
211 F.3d 416, 428–29 (7th Cir. 2000) (fees for necessary exemplification are
taxable). But I also find that the transcript of the pre-trial conference, at which
O’Brien did not testify, was not necessary in this case and was, at most, obtained
for defendants’ convenience. McDowell, 758 F.2d at 1294. In addition, binders
and exhibit tabs are not a taxable cost under 28 U.S.C. § 1920. I will therefore
disallow the claim of $431.65 for the pre-trial conference transcript and the claim
of $26.90 for the binders and exhibit tabs, and will otherwise deny the motion.
Based on the foregoing,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Review of and
Reduction to Defendants’ Bill of Costs [#143] is GRANTED IN PART as set out
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion to File Out of Time,
If Necessary [#145] is DENIED as moot.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall tax the
following costs in favor of St. Louis Public Schools District, et al., and against
Fees of the Clerk
Fees for transcripts necessarily obtained
Fees for exemplification and copies
TOTAL TAXABLE COSTS
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 11th day of October, 2012.
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