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Harris v. Goins

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London

April 26, 2018

ALBERTO HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM GOINS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Danny C. Reeves, United States District Judge

         This matter is pending for consideration of the Defendants Williams Goins, Patrick Robinson, The City of Manchester, Kentucky, and Unlawful Narcotics Investigation Treatment and Education, Inc.s' Bill of Costs, documentation in support of the Bill of Costs, the plaintiff's objections, and the defendants' response to the objections. [Record Nos. 199, 201, 202, 203] The Court will grant the defendants' Bill of Costs, in part, for the reasons discussed below.

         Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “costs other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs . . . .” This language creates a strong presumption that the prevailing party will recover its costs. Miles v. State of California, 320 F.3d 986, 988 (9th Cir. 2003); In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Litigation, 221 F.3d 449, 462 (3d Cir. 2000); Contreras v. City of Chicago, 119 F.3d 1286, 1295 (7th Cir. 1997). The party seeking costs, however, “bears the burden of establishing that the expenses he seeks to have taxed as costs are authorized by applicable federal law . . . .” Epling v. United States, 958 F.Supp. 312, 317 (W.D. Ky. 1997) (quotation omitted).

         Taxable expenses are contained in 28 U.S.C. § 1920. Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons, Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 441-45 (1987). That section provides for recovery of:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees of the court reporter for all or any part of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and copies of papers 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.

         Harris objects to the defendants obtaining specific costs for photocopies and witness fees for Christina Little and Harold Rader. Additionally, Harris makes an overall objection to the award of costs based on indigence.

         A. Photocopying Expenses

         A court may only tax copies of documents “necessarily obtained for use in the case.” 28 U.S.C § 1920(4); King v. Gowdy, 268 Fed.Appx. 389, 391 (6th Cir. 2008). Harris argues that the defendants have offered no details to allow the Court to ...


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