United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER SUSTAINING IN PART AND OVERRULING IN PART
OBJECTIONS TO THE BILL OF COSTS
GUIROLA, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the  Objection to Defendants' Bill of
Costs filed by Plaintiff Del Dennis. Plaintiff filed this
action alleging discrimination on the basis of race by
Defendant Academy, Ltd. and tortious interference with
contract by Defendant Bernice Hampton-Bean. Defendants filed
a Motion for Summary Judgment, which the Court granted as to
the discrimination claims against Academy. The Court
dismissed the tortious interference claim against Bernice
Hampton-Bean without prejudice after declining to retain
supplemental jurisdiction. Thereafter, the Court entered a
 Final Judgment.
filed their  Bill of Costs in the amount of $2, 478.60 on
March 8, 2019, requesting fees associated with acquiring the
original deposition transcript of the plaintiff and a video
recording of the same. Plaintiff's Objection to the Bill
of Costs argues (1) that the per-page rate of $9.24 charged
for the deposition transcript is excessive and (2) that the
$650.00 charged for videotaping the deposition is not an
allowable expense. Defendants have filed a Response to the
Objection. Having considered the submissions of the parties,
the Court is of the opinion that the Objection should be
granted in part and overruled in part.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1), “costs -
other than attorney's fees - should be allowed to the
prevailing party” in an action. There is a
“strong presumption that the prevailing party will be
awarded costs.” Pacheco v. Mineta, 448 F.3d
783, 793 (5th Cir. 2006). Federal law provides that the Clerk
may tax as costs, inter alia, “[f]ees for
printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily
obtained for use in the case; [and f]ees for exemplification
and the costs of making copies and any materials where the
copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case.”
28 U.S.C. § 1920. The losing party shoulders the burden
to overcome the presumption in favor of costs. See
Walters v. Roadway Exp., Inc., 557 F.2d 521, 526 (5th
“[t]hose who are entitled to recover costs and expenses
bear the burden of furnishing a reasonable accounting.”
Copper Liquor, Inc. v. Adolph Coors Co.,
684 F.2d 1087, 1099 (5th Cir. 1982), overruled on other
grounds by Woodworkers of Am., AFL-CIO & its Local
No. 5-376 v. Champion Int'l Corp., 790 F.2d 1174
(5th Cir. 1986) (en banc). This requires “some
evidence” of actual expenditures. Id.
Before any bill of costs is taxed, the party claiming any
item of cost or disbursement shall attach thereto an
affidavit, made by himself or by his duly authorized attorney
. . ., that such item is correct and has been necessarily
incurred in the case and that the services for which fees
have been charged were actually and necessarily performed.
28 U.S.C. § 1924.
asserts that the $1, 828.60 sought for the original
transcript of Plaintiff's deposition is
excessive. The transcript is 198 pages long. If no
portion of that expense includes related fees like an
appearance fee or an expedited turnaround fee, then
Defendants seek reimbursement for $9.24 per page. The bill
for court-reporting services does not itemize any separate
fees. And Defendants maintain that they did not request an
expedited copy. Thus, the Court assumes that the $1, 828.60
reflects just the cost of the original transcript. Defendants
offer no justification for utilizing court-reporting services
at the cost of $9.24 per page.
counsel submitted a declaration in which he submits that the
average rate charged per page for regular transcript
production in Mississippi is $4 per page. The Judicial
Conference of the United States allows for a maximum of $4.25
per page on a fourteen-day transcript. Grimes v.
BNSF Ry. Co., No. 1:12CV137-DAS, 2013 WL 12178122, at *3
(N.D. Miss. July 11, 2013); 6 Guide to Judiciary Policy
(last revised May 1, 2018); Federal Court Reporting
Program, United States Courts,
(last visited Mar. 22, 2019). Because Defendants offer no
basis for these higher rates, the costs for the printed
transcript will be reduced to the Judicial Conference limit
of $4.25 per page, resulting in a recoverable expense of
$841.50. But see, E.E.O.C. v. JBS USA, LLC,
No. 8:10CV318, 2015 WL 2212644, at *4 (D. Neb. May 11, 2015)
(finding a per-page fee in excess of the Judicial Conference
limits to be warranted “[b]ased on the complexity and
the additional time required”).
as the video recording of the deposition is concerned, §
1920(2) explicitly allows for taxation of costs associated
with electronically recorded transcripts. And transcript fees
“are not objectionable merely because the underlying
deposition is not used at trial. The question is whether the
particular deposition was reasonably necessary to the case,
not whether it was actually employed in court.”
Soler v. McHenry, 771 F.Supp. 252, 255 (N.D. Ill.
1991), aff'd sub nom. Soler v. Waite, 989 F.2d
251 (7th Cir. 1993) (citing Illinois v. Sangamo Constr.
Co., 657 F.2d 855, 867 (7th Cir. 1981). Plaintiff makes
only a perfunctory argument disputing the necessity of having
videotaped his deposition, which does not overcome the
presumption in favor of costs. The Court finds that the video
recording of Plaintiff's deposition “could
reasonably [have been] expected to be used during trial or
for trial preparation” at the time at the video
recording was made. Harris v. Dallas Cty. Hosp.,
Dist., No. 3:14-CV-3663-D, 2016 WL 8674685, at *4 (N.D.
Tex. Aug. 5, 2016) (citing Allstate Ins. Co. v.
Plambeck, 66 F.Supp.3d 782, 790 (N.D. Tex. 2014)). This
objection is overruled.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the 
Objection to Defendants' Bill of Costs filed by Plaintiff
Del Dennis is SUSTAINED IN PART and
OVERRULED IN PART. The Clerk shall tax costs
in favor of Defendants Academy, Ltd. and Bernice Hampton-Bean
in the amount of $1, 491.50.
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.