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Joseph X v. Liberty Mutual Group, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

April 4, 2018

KING JOSEPH X PLAINTIFF
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL GROUP, INC. DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph H. McKinley, Chief Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on a bill of costs submitted by Plaintiff King Joseph X requesting the Court to tax costs in the amount of $1, 724.90 against the Defendant Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. [DN 60] pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Defendant filed objections to Plaintiff's bill of costs [DN 61]. Fully briefed, this matter is ripe for decision.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) “creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs, but allows denial of costs at the discretion of the trial court.” White & White, Inc. v. American Hosp. Supply Corp., 786 F.2d 728, 730 (6th Cir. 1986). See Ford v. FedEx Supply Chain Servs., Inc., 2009 WL 1585849, *1 (W.D. Tenn. June 3, 2009) (“[T]here is “a presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party in accordance with Rule 54(d).”). Therefore, “[t]he party objecting to the taxation bears the burden of persuading the Court that taxation is improper.” Roll v. Bowling Green Metal Forming, LLC., 2010 WL 3069106, *1 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 4, 2010) (citing BDT Prods., Inc. v. Lexmark Intern., Inc., 405 F.3d 415, 420 (6th Cir. 2005), overruled on other grounds by Taniguchi v. Kan.Pacific Saipan, Ltd., 566 U.S. 560 (2012)). In Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437 (1987), the Supreme Court held that a district court may award costs only for those elements contained in 28 U.S.C. § 1920, which provides:

         A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the following:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services under section 1828 of this title.

28 U.S.C. § 1920.

         1. Cost of Plaintiff's Deposition Transcript

         Plaintiff included $129.75 in his Bill of Costs for the cost of obtaining a copy of a transcript of his own discovery deposition. Defendant objects to this cost because Plaintiff did not utilize the deposition during trial and because Defendant previously paid for the original transcript of the deposition.

         The Court finds that the fee requested by Plaintiff for the cost of the transcript copy of his own ...


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