Perez v. Figi's Companies, Inc., et. al.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: Granting Figi's Companies, Inc.'s proposed 277 Bill of Costs in the amount of $4,173.68, and overruling Plaintiff's 278 Objections to Figi's Companies, Inc.'s Bill of Costs. Signed by Judge Irene C. Berger on 11/13/2017. (cc: attys; any unrepresented party) (slr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:15-cv-13559
(Consolidated with Civil Action No. 5:16-cv-4851)
FIGI’S COMPANIES, INC. and
CHARMING SALES CO. ONE, INC.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The Court has reviewed Defendant Figi’s Companies, Inc.’s proposed Bill of Costs
(Document 277), the Plaintiff’s Objections to Figi’s Companies, Inc.’s Bill of Costs (Document
278), and Figi’s Companies, Inc.’s Response to Plaintiff’s Objections to Figi’s Companies, Inc.’s
Bill of Costs (Document 279).
Figi’s submitted a bill of costs totaling $4,173.68. That total consists of $486.20 for
copies and $3,687.48 for transcription. The transcription total includes video depositions of
Sandra Perez, Contessa Hamlet, and Dorothy Thompson, as well as transcripts. The Plaintiff
argues that videotaping the depositions of Ms. Hamlet and Ms. Perez was unnecessary and the
associated costs should be excluded, and challenges the costs for photocopies because Figi’s did
not explain the purpose of the copies. Figi’s asserts that written transcripts were necessary for
motion practice, and would have been needed for objections had the case proceeded to trial, and
that video transcripts were also used in briefing. Further, Figi’s explains that Ms. Hamlet
indicated that she planned to move out of state, and both Ms. Hamlet and Ms. Thompson were
reluctant to appear. Both also had backgrounds that raised credibility issues. Therefore, Figi’s
argues, the video depositions were necessary to ensure that the testimony could be presented at
trial, and to more effectively prepare for cross-examination and present rebuttal or impeachment
testimony. Figi’s also supplied additional detail regarding the purpose of the copies, which were
either for service of documents or for use during depositions and mediation.
28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1) permits courts to award the costs enumerated in § 1920 to the
prevailing party in civil litigation against the United States. Section 1920(2) enumerates the fees
and costs that may be awarded, including “fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts
necessarily obtained for use in the case.” In 1999, the Fourth Circuit held that § 1920(2) permits
recovery of the costs of both stenographic and video transcripts only if “both costs were
‘necessarily obtained for use in the case.’” Cherry v. Champion Int'l Corp., 186 F.3d 442, 449
(4th Cir. 1999) (explaining that “[t]he concept of necessity for use in the case connotes something
more than convenience or duplication to ensure alternative methods for presenting materials at
Although the Court granted judgment prior to trial, it was reasonable and prudent of Figi’s
to obtain video depositions of the Plaintiff and of Ms. Thompson and Ms. Hamlet, who were named
Plaintiffs in a consolidated case. The video depositions could have been the only method of
presenting the testimony at trial. The photocopies, likewise, appear reasonable and necessary
based on the additional information supplied in Figi’s response.
Wherefore, after thorough review and careful consideration, the Court ORDERS that
Figi’s Companies, Inc.’s proposed Bill of Costs (Document 277) be GRANTED in the amount of
$4,173.68, and that the Plaintiff’s Objections to Figi’s Companies, Inc.’s Bill of Costs (Document
278) be OVERRULED.
The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to send a copy of this Order to counsel of record and to
any unrepresented party.
November 13, 2017
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