Ingrassia v. Schafer et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' motion for Bill of Costs is DENIED. (Doc. No. 261 ). Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 11/9/2016. (NEB)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
THOMAS J. INGRASSIA,
KEITH SCHAFER, et al.,
Case No. 4:11CV02062 AGF
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on that Defendants’ motion for Bill of Costs.
Defendants prevailed in this civil rights action, following a trial by jury, and they now
seek to tax costs in the amount of $4,227.10 against Plaintiff. This amount represents the
cost of purchasing deposition transcripts. It is undisputed that Plaintiff is indigent, and on
that basis, was granted in forma pauperis status in this case. Defendants recognize that
the indigence of a losing party is a factor that weighs against granting costs to the
prevailing party, but they argue that other factors—namely the small percentage that
$4,227.10 represents of Defendants’ total costs, Plaintiff’s questionable good faith in
pursuing the lawsuit, and the fact that the issues presented by Plaintiff were not close or
difficult—weigh in favor of the Court granting their bill of costs.
Despite the presumption that a prevailing party is entitled to costs, district courts
have “substantial discretion in awarding costs to a prevailing party,” Greaser v. Mo.
Dep’t of Corr., 145 F.3d 979, 985 (8th Cir. 1998). Along with the losing party’s
indigence, other factors a court should look at are “the amount of costs, the good faith of
the losing party, and the closeness and difficulty of the issues raised.” Wagner v. City of
Pine Lawn, Mo., No. 4:05CV01901 JCH, 2008 WL 2323486, at *2 (E.D. Mo. May 30,
2008) (citation omitted).
Upon review of the record, the Court does not believe that taxing Plaintiff with the
costs sought would be appropriate. Plaintiff is indigent and likely to remain so for the
foreseeable future, and the Court cannot say that he brought this action in bad faith, or
that some of the issues were not close or difficult.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ motion for Bill of Costs is
DENIED. (Doc. No. 261).
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 9th day of November, 2016.
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