Pope, Andrew v. Espeseth, Inc. et al
ORDER denying 156 Motion Objecting to Clerk's Taxing of Costs. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 12/1/17. (jat)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
ANDREW J. POPE and JOSHUA RAVE,
ESPESETH, INC., and ANTHONY ESPESETH,
OPINION & ORDER
Judgment was entered in this case on September 27, 2017. Defendant Fish Window
Cleaning Services, Inc., filed a bill of costs totaling $4,132.13, which was the total transcript
fee. Plaintiffs objected. The clerk of court overruled plaintiffs’ objections but taxed plaintiffs
$4,010.63 after Fish withdrew $121.50 of its requested fees. Dkt. 155. Plaintiffs now seek
review of the taxation of that fee. Dkt. 156. Plaintiffs fail to provide any persuasive reason to
rethink the order taxing the fee, so their motion will be denied.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54, “the prevailing party is prima facie entitled
to costs and it is incumbent on the losing party to overcome the presumption.” Popeil Bros., Inc.
v. Schick Elec., Inc., 516 F.2d 772, 775 (7th Cir. 1975). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1920, costs may be
taxed for “printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the
Plaintiffs first argue that Fish should not have been reimbursed $522.50 for Espeseth’s
deposition transcript because it could have obtained a free electronic copy of the transcript and
has not explained why it needed authenticated copies of the deposition exhibits. But “[m]ost
competent defense counsel order transcripts of the depositions of” named parties, and those
transcripts are necessarily obtained even if free electronic copies are available. Donohoo v.
Hanson, No. 14-cv-309, 2017 WL 1250437, at *1 (W.D. Wis. Apr. 4, 2017).
Next, plaintiffs argue that Fish should not have been reimbursed $252.90 for word
indices for plaintiffs’ deposition transcripts because Fish’s counsel could have searched the
electronic transcripts instead. But Fish’s counsel used the indices, and even in this digital age,
“word indices . . . while perhaps not indispensable, [are] nevertheless, ‘reasonably necessary.’”
Maher v. City of Chicago, No. 03-cv-3421, 2007 WL 2908837, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 2, 2007);
accord White v. City of Chicago, No. 11-cv-7802, 2015 WL 1402409, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 23,
Finally, plaintiffs argue that Fish should not have been reimbursed $305.10 for
expedited transcripts of plaintiffs’ depositions because Fish’s counsel “reviewed the transcripts
within 24 hours, rather than immediately.” Dkt. 156, at 2. The fact that Fish’s counsel reviewed
the transcripts within 24 hours supports the taxation of the expedited service fee, and as the
clerk of court explained, expedited service was reasonable and necessary in light of the quickly
approaching summary judgment deadline.
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion to review the clerk of court’s order taxing costs
against them, Dkt. 156, is DENIED.
Entered December 1, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
JAMES D. PETERSON
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