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Mustafa v. United Auto Group

September 6, 2007

HASHIM MUSTAFA, MICHAEL FOUNTAIN, ROBERT HARRISON, MALCOLM JACKSON, RAY WALTER AND TITUS WILLIS PLAINTIFFS
v.
UNITED AUTO GROUP, STEVE LANDERS, SR., DWIGHT EVERETT DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James M. Moody United States District Judge

ORDER

The Court has reviewed the Bills of Costs submitted by defendants and the response of Plaintiffs. (Docket #'s 87, 91 and 103). District courts may award costs to a prevailing party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d). However, such costs must be set out in 28 U.S.C. § 1920 or some other statutory authorization. Smith v. Tenet Healthsystem SL, Inc. 436 F.3d 879, 889 (8th Cir. 2006)

The defendant has requested $16,852.85 for costs relating to the depositions of Lorraine Hatcher and Plaintiffs Hashim Mustafa, Michael Fountain, Robert Harrison, Malcolm Jackson, J.C. Versie, Ray Walter and Titus Willis along with daily copy requested and received during the trial of this case. Although it is in the Court's discretion to tax the costs of taking depositions, it is this Court's policy to disallow the costs for the taking of depositions and any fees associated therewith for discovery purposes. None of these depositions were actually read into evidence at the trial, therefore, the request for deposition expenses will be disallowed as incidental to normal preparation for trial. Likewise, the Court will disallow the expense of daily copy as Defendants have failed to show that daily copies of the transcript were necessary for the trial of the case.

The defendants request $797.80 for copying costs. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1920, costs of photocopies "necessarily obtained for use in the case" are generally taxable. However, a prevailing party seeking the recovery of photocopying costs must show that the copies "were necessary." Corsair Asset Management, Inc. v. Moskovitz, 142 F.R.D. 347, 352 (N.D. Ga. 1992). The Court has allowed reimbursement for the costs of copying a set of exhibits for trial purposes. Here, the defendant has not satisfactorily explained the use of all the copies for which the Court has been asked to award costs. Therefore, the request for copy expense will be disallowed.

Defendants also seek the costs for the transcript obtained for the appeal of this matter. The Court will allow this cost in full.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that costs shall be taxed in favor of Defendants in the amount of $1,256.62.

20070906

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