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Case 2:10-cv-01371-RSL Document 198 Filed 07/27/12 Page 1 of 3

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

AT SEATTLE

ISABELLE BICHINDARITZ,

Plaintiff,

v.

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON,

Defendant.

Case No. C10-1371RSL
ORDER AFFIRMING TAXATION
OF COSTS

This matter comes before the Court on “Defendant’s Motion to Retax

Costs” (Dkt. # 183) and “Plaintiff’s Motion to Retax Costs” (Dkt. # 184). On May 29,
2012, the Deputy Clerk of Court awarded defendants $13,613.96 in costs. Having
reviewed the documents that were before the Clerk as well as the parties’ memoranda,1
the Court finds as follows:

(1) The Clerk properly chose to award defendant the costs associated with

plaintiff’s deposition and the printed transcript, while disallowing the expenses
associated with videotaping that same deposition. Defendant has not met its burden of
showing that “the various versions of the deposition were reasonably obtained for use in
the case,” especially where plaintiff was available for trial and use of a videotape was

1 The Court has not considered arguments raised by plaintiff for the first time in

reply.

ORDER AFFIRMING TAXATION OF COSTS

Case 2:10-cv-01371-RSL Document 198 Filed 07/27/12 Page 2 of 3

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unlikely. Baisden v. I’m Ready Productions, Inc., 793 F. Supp.2d 970, 977 (S.D. Tex.
2011).

(2) The Clerk properly concluded that defendant obtained trial transcripts for the

convenience of counsel. This case was not particularly long or complex, the Court did
not issue oral rulings, and no proposed findings or post-trial motions were necessary.
Majeske v. City of Chicago, (7th Cir. 2000); Kearney v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 2010
WL 1856060, at *3-4 (M.D. Fla. May 10, 2010); Manildra Mill. Corp. v. Ogilvie Mills,
Inc., 878 F. Supp. 1417, 1426-27 (D. Kan. 1995). Defendant has shown that a verbatim
transcript, rather than contemporaneous notes of the proceedings, was necessary.

(3) An award of 10% of the requested copying costs is appropriate. This district
implemented an electronic filing and service system which largely eliminated the need to
make, file, or serve hard copies other than for the convenience of counsel. Crowley v.
Chait, 2007 WL 7569542, at *5-6 ( D.N.J. Aug. 29, 2007). The exceptions are
submissions that exceed fifty pages in length, discovery responses, and trial exhibits.
Because defendant provided no information from which the Clerk of Court could
identify the number of copies that were actually necessary, the 10% estimate was
reasonable.

(4) Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1) provides that “costs – other than attorney’s fees –

should be allowed to the prevailing party.” There is, therefore, “a presumption for
awarding costs to prevailing parties; the losing party must show why costs should not be
awarded.” Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932, 944-45 (9th Cir. 2003).
The Court may, after considering such factors as the losing party’s financial resources,
misconduct of the prevailing party, the importance of the issues, and the chilling effect of
an award, find that the presumption has been overcome. In this case, however, plaintiff
offers nothing but counsel’s unsupported statement that she is currently unemployed and
that taxing costs would impose an extreme hardship. Plaintiff’s argument regarding the

ORDER AFFIRMING TAXATION OF COSTS

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Case 2:10-cv-01371-RSL Document 198 Filed 07/27/12 Page 3 of 3

chilling effect of an award of costs against a losing civil rights plaintiff proves too much.
Congress did not exclude civil rights actions from the cost-shifting mechanism of 28
U.S.C. § 1920, and yet plaintiff is basically arguing for a blanket exemption without any
actual evidence suggesting that a chill is likely to arise from the award at issue in this
case. The Court finds that plaintiff has not overcome the presumption in favor of an
award of costs.

(5) The Clerk properly allowed defendant’s actual witness expenses. Plaintiff

has not shown that, given the exigencies and unpredictability of trial, the air tickets were
not the most economical rate reasonably available at the time.

(6) Plaintiff argues that the costs associated with the deposition of witnesses who

live in the area were not “necessarily obtained for use in the case” because those
individuals would be available to testify at trial: in these circumstances, plaintiff argues,
the depositions and transcripts are merely discovery costs and are not recoverable. At
the time the depositions were taken and the transcripts obtained, it was reasonable to
believe the transcripts would be used in the case. In making her argument, plaintiff
ignores the fact that most of the deposition transcripts were used in the summary
judgment briefing, that some of them were used at trial, that some of the witnesses later
relocated out of this district.

For all of the foregoing reasons, the Clerk’s taxation of costs is hereby

AFFIRMED and the motions to retax are DENIED.

Dated this 27th day of July, 2012.

ARobert S. Lasnik
United States District Judge

ORDER AFFIRMING TAXATION OF COSTS

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