United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
JAMES H. POGUE PLAINTIFF
NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge
case is before the Court on Plaintiff James H. Pogue's
objections to Defendant Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
Company's (“NWML”) bill of costs. DN 154.
NWML did not respond; the time to do so has passed. This
matter is now ripe for review.
March 7, 2018, this Court granted NWML's motion for
summary judgment. Plaintiff unsuccessfully appealed to the
Sixth Circuit. NWML submitted a bill of costs in the amount
of $6, 095.20. DN 151.
objects to NWML's bill of costs arguing that the Court
should deny the bill of costs based on Plaintiff's
limited financial resources, or alternatively, to reduce the
bill of costs to eliminate charges for services that were
excessive, unreasonable, and/or unnecessary under 28 U.S.C.
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) provides that
“costs-other than attorney's fees- shall be allowed
to the prevailing party.” This “language creates
a presumption in favor of awarding costs, but allows denial
of costs at the discretion of the trial court.”
Singleton v. Smith, 241 F.3d 534, 539 (6th Cir.
2001) (quoting White & White, Inc. v. Am. Hosp.
Supply Corp., 786 F.2d 728, 730 (6th Cir. 1986)).
“The costs that courts may tax under Rule 54(d)(1) are
confined to the costs itemized in 28 U.S.C. §
1920.” In re Cardizem CD Antitrust Litig., 481
F.3d 355, 359 (6th Cir. 2007). Under section 1920, a court
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 28 U.S.C. § 1923; and
(6) compensation for court appointed experts and
interpreters, as well as costs for certain interpretative
services. “Items proposed by winning parties as costs
should always be given careful scrutiny.” Grogan v.
United States, 341 F.2d 39, 43 (6th Cir. 1965).
Whether the Court should consider Plaintiff's limited
Plaintiff requests this Court deny NWML's bill of costs
entirely on the account of Plaintiff's limited financial
resources. “[W]hen a party claims indigency, [the Sixth
Circuit] requires a determination of his or her capacity to
pay the costs assessed.” Sales v. Marshall,
873 F.2d 115, 120 (6th Cir. 1989) (concerning a pro
se plaintiff's claim of inability to pay the costs
taxed against him). The burden is upon the plaintiff to show
that he is incapable, as a practical matter, of paying such
costs. Jones v. Kolb, 84 Fed.Appx. 560, 561-62 (6th
relies on the following testimony from his February 10, 2016
deposition to support his claim of indigency:
Q. Are you currently ...