United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, St. Joseph Division
ORDER DETERMINING COSTS
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE.
case involved a contract dispute between Defendant Hanzada
for Import & Export Company, LTD.,
(“Hanzada”), and Plaintiff Hassanin Aly
(“Aly”). After a trial, a jury found in favor of
Aly. (Doc. 149).
before the Court is Aly's Bill of Costs seeking $2,
310.28 (Doc. 221). No objections were filed. For the
following reasons, the Court awards Aly $2, 310.28 in costs.
54(d)(1) provides that “[u]nless a federal statute,
these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs-other
than attorney's fees-should be allowed to the prevailing
party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). A 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); see Marx v.
Gen. Revenue Corp., 568 U.S. 371, 377 (2013)
(“[T]he word ‘should' makes clear that the
decision whether to award costs ultimately lies within the
sound discretion of the district court.”). But, the
“prevailing party is presumptively entitled to recover
all of its costs.” Thompson v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 472 F.3d 515, 517 (8th Cir. 2006). The prevailing
party bears the burden of persuading the court that the items
and amounts sought are compensable under 28 U.S.C. §
1920 or some other authority. Combs v. Cordish Cos.,
No. 14-0227-CV-ODS, 2015 WL 5096009, at *1 (W.D. Mo. Aug. 28,
court's power to tax costs under § 1920 is limited
to the items enumerated in the statute. Taniguchi v.
Kan.Pac. Saipan, Ltd., 132 S.Ct. 1997, 2006 (2012).
“Costs” are construed narrowly under the statute.
The Supreme Court has cautioned that “[a]lthough
‘costs' has an everyday meaning synonymous with
‘expenses, '” taxable costs “are a
fraction of the nontaxable expenses borne by litigants for
attorneys, experts, consultants, and investigators.”
1920 identifies six expenses that may be taxed as costs. Five
of these are applicable to the present case: (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;” and (4) “Docket fees
under section 1923(a).” 28 U.S.C. § 1920.
Court finds all of the costs Aly submitted are compensable
and discusses each in turn. First, Aly seeks $550.00 for fees
to the Clerk of Court consisting of $350.00 for the filing
fee, and $200.00 for Pro hac vice fees. Both fees are
compensable. The filing fee is a taxable cost under §
1920(1) and pro hac vice fees are recoverable costs under
Eighth Circuit case law. Craftsmen Limousine, Inc. v.
Ford Motor Co., 579 F.3d 894, 898 (8th Cir. 2009)
(holding pro hac vice fees are taxable costs).
Aly seeks $1, 463.40 in transcripts consisting of $1, 008.00
for a deposition transcript, $104.40 for transcript of a
portion of the trial, and $351.00 for a transcript of the
pre-trial conference and a transcript of a portion of the
determining whether the cost of a deposition is compensable
under § 1920, the relevant question is not whether the
deposition was used at trial but whether it “reasonably
seemed necessary at the time [it] w[as] taken.”
Zotos v. Lindbergh School Dist., 121 F.3d 356, 363
(8th Cir. 1997). It appears from the record this deposition
was reasonably necessary at the time it was taken.
Accordingly, the cost is compensable.
transcripts for counsel's convenience are not taxable,
E.E.O.C. v. Hibbing Taconite Co., 2010 WL 4237318,
at *3 (D. Minn. Oct. 21, 2010), however, if the transcripts
are necessary to respond to post-trial motions, the cost is
taxable. Jo Ann Howard & Assocs., P.C. v.
Cassity, No. 09CV01252-ERW, 2015 WL 7422199, at *6 (E.D.
Mo. Nov. 20, 2015). Here, the parties actively engaged in
post-trial motions and as a result, the Court finds the
transcripts were necessary, not a convenience. Thus, the cost
Aly seeks $147.63 for mileage expenses associated with
witness travel. Fees for witnesses are compensable under
§ 1920(3). See also 28 U.S.C. §
1821(c)(4); Nelson v. Darragh Co., 120 F.R.D. 517,
519 (W.D. Ark. 1988).
Aly seeks $20.00 for docket fees under 28 U.S.C. §
1923(a) which is compensable because ...