United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
ORDER GRANTING REIMBURSEMENT
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a “Motion for Expense Reimbursement”
filed by Richard Shane McLaughlin, counsel for Takei
McFarland. Doc. #87.
23, 2014, McFarland filed a pro se prisoner complaint
alleging a variety of constitutional claims arising from his
work conditions at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in
Parchman, Mississippi. Doc. #1. On July 15, 2014, United
States Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander granted
McFarland's motion to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. #6.
After a Spears hearing on December 17, 2014, Judge
Alexander issued a Report and Recommendation recommending the
dismissal of all but McFarland's Eighth Amendment claims
against Stanley Brooks, Ed Cole, Henry Gipson, and Richard
Gipson, which this Court adopted on February 9, 2015. Doc.
#13; Doc. #18. On May 18, 2015, the remaining defendants
moved for summary judgment on all remaining claims. Doc. #23.
2, 2015, Judge Alexander, on McFarland's motion, issued
an order appointing Richard Shane McLaughlin as counsel to
represent McFarland on a contingency basis after finding that
“McFarland's case would benefit from assistance of
counsel in preparing for and handling the trial.” Doc.
#31. The order provided:
If, upon resolution of this matter, McFarland is not the
prevailing party as set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the
court will reimburse Mr. McLaughlin for reasonable
out-of-pocket expenses, up to a presumed maximum of $500.00,
incurred in pursuit of this litigation, using funds accrued
from the court's attorney admission fee fund.
Id. at 3.
March 21, 2016, this Court granted in part and denied in part
the defendants' motion for summary judgment, dismissing
only McFarland's claims against Richard Gipson. Doc. #44.
A three-day jury trial on the claims against Brooks, Cole and
Henry Gipson was held January 11-13, 2017, resulting in a
verdict in favor of the defendants.
January 25, 2017, McLaughlin filed the instant “Motion
for Expense Reimbursement.” Doc. #87. McLaughlin asks
the Court to use its discretion and reimburse him for
“reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred”
totaling $1, 772.95, consisting of: (1) $645.00 for
deposition transcripts; (2) $133.56 for mileage to and from the
Mississippi State Penitentiary for depositions; (3) $56.18 for
mileage to and from Oxford, Mississippi, for the pre-trial
conference; (4) $181.26 for mileage to and from
Greenville, Mississippi, for trial; (5) $332.39 for a
three-night hotel stay; (6) $192.28 for Dr. Tom Tabler's
witness fees and mileage; (7) $192.28 for Dr. Mary Beck's
witness fees and mileage; and (8) $40.00 for service of trial
subpoenas. Id. at 2. Alternatively,
McLaughlin states that “in the event the Court finds
that the ‘presumed maximum' in the Order appointing
counsel is controlling, counsel requests an expense
reimbursement of $500.” Id. McLaughlin
contends that “[t]he case could not have been properly
prepared for summary judgment and trial without the incursion
of these expenses.” Id. at 3. Notably, he
“does not seek reimbursement for expenses for copies,
postage, meals during trial or electronic legal research,
” nor for the expenses of his co-counsel, Victor
670.20(b)(6) of the Guide to Judiciary Policy
provides in pertinent part that attorney admission funds may
be used for “[r]eimbursement of pro bono counsel for
out-of-pocket expenses, payment of compensation to pro bono
counsel, and payment of witness fees and other expenses for
indigent pro se civil litigants.” Upon consideration of
the nature and history of this action, the Court finds that
the expenses for which McLaughlin seeks reimbursement are
reasonable and were necessary to the litigation of
McFarland's claims. Therefore, the Court concludes that
McLaughlin should be reimbursed for the expenses requested.
Accordingly, his motion for reimbursement  is GRANTED.
The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to issue payment to
McLaughlin from the attorney admission fee fund in the amount
of $1, 767.56.