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Dopson v. Steverson

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division

December 18, 2018

JOHN DOPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRIS STEVERSON; JEFFERY DEAL; RON BOWDOIN; BETTY RIDDLE; ATHANIEL KING; JEROME DANIELS; TOMMY BARRENTINE; and CHRIS SCREWS, Defendants.

          ORDER

         Pending before the Court is Defendants Ron Bowdoin, Betty Riddle, and Chris Steverson's ("Defendants") Bill of Costs seeking $11,365.89. Plaintiff filed an objection to $2,812.30 of those costs. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs objection is SUSTAINED IN PART AND OVERRULED IN PART.

         On September 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed this action alleging only state law claims arising out of his imprisonment at the Dodge County Jail. (See generally Compl., Doc. No. 1.) The case proceeded through discovery and on the last day for filing civil motions Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc. Nos. 20, 21.) The Court granted the motions finding it lacked jurisdiction over this case because Plaintiff plead only state law claims. (Order of Oct. 18, 2018, Doc. No. 62, at 5.)

         On November 8, 2018, Defendants submitted a Bill of Costs. (Doc. No. 70.) Specifically, those Defendants sought to recover the following costs:

Fees for service of summons and subpoena . . . $365.00
Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case................$10,931.63
Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any material where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case . . . $69.26
Total...................$11,365.89

         Plaintiff filed an objection to the Bill of Costs. (Doc. No. 72.) Plaintiff objects to the costs for "Video Services" on multiple depositions, to the fees for copies of the deposition videos and exhibits, and the request for travel expenses of a court reporter. Further, Plaintiff contends he is a "working-class man" and the issuance of costs would impose significant financial hardship on him. (Id. at 4.)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) allows the Court to award costs to the prevailing party. The costs that may be taxed against a non-prevailing party are defined in 28 U.S.C. § 1920 as follows:

         (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 ...


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