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Pierce v. Moore

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

May 20, 2015

RUTH PIERCE, Plaintiff,
v.
BONNIE MOORE and DR. JAMES PANG, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CAROL E. JACKSON, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on the defendants' separate bills of costs. Plaintiff has filed a single response in which she objects to several items claimed by defendants, arguing that they are not taxable as costs.

I. Background

Plaintiff Ruth Pierce brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that she was wrongfully detained in an inpatient psychiatric unit following the expiration of a 96-hour detention order. On November 20, 2014, a jury returned verdicts in favor of the defendants Bonnie Moore and Dr. James Pang.

II. Discussion

Rule 54(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that "costs-other than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing party." Not all expenses of litigation are costs taxable against the losing party, and within the statutory framework of costs eligible to be taxed, the district court has discretion in determining and awarding costs in a given case. Pershern v. Fiatallis N. Am., Inc., 834 F.2d 136, 140 (8th Cir. 1987).

The following costs are taxable under 28 U.S.C. § 1920:

(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.

The court may not award costs other than those authorized by § 1920, because this section "imposes rigid controls on cost-shifting in federal courts." Cowden v. BNSF Ry. Co., 991 F.Supp.2d 1084, 1087 (E.D. Mo. 2014) (quoting ...


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