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Akridge v. Wilkinson

October 26, 2006

CHAPLAIN WILLIAM AKRIDGE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
REGINALD A. WILKINSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James L. Graham United States District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the court on defendants' motion for taxation of costs (Doc. No. 40) in the amount of $880.40, and plaintiff's motion to review the Clerk's taxation of costs filed on October 16, 2006 (Doc. No. 49). The Clerk determined that defendants were entitled to costs in the amount of $880.40. Plaintiff does not contend that the costs claimed are not properly taxable as costs, or that the expenditures were unnecessary or unreasonably large. Rather, plaintiff asks this court to exercise its discretion in favor of denying an award of costs.

Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1), "costs other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs[.]" Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1); Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. August, 450 U.S. 346, 352 (1981). Rule 54(d) creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs, but allows denial of costs at the discretion of the trial court. Knology, Inc. v. Insight Communications Co., 460 F.3d 722, 726 (6th Cir. 2006); McDonald v. Petree, 409 F.3d 724, 732 (6th Cir. 2005). The unsuccessful party must show circumstances sufficient to overcome the presumption. Goostree v. Tennessee, 796 F.2d 854, 863 (6th Cir. 1986); White & White, Inc. v. American Hospital Supply Corp., 786 F.2d 728, 730 (6th Cir. 1986).

In White & White, 786 F.2d at 730-31, the court discussed several factors to consider in determining whether to award costs. Those factors include:

a) Were the taxable expenditures unnecessary to the case or unreasonably large?

b) Should the prevailing party be penalized for unnecessarily prolonging the trial or for injecting unmeritorious issues?

c) Was the prevailing party's victory so insignificant that the judgment amounts to a victory for the opponent?

d) Was the case close and difficult?

e) Did the losing party act reasonably and in good faith in filing, prosecuting or defending the case?

f) Did the losing party conduct the case with propriety?

g) Have other courts denied costs to prevailing defendants in similar cases?

h) Did the prevailing party benefit from the case?

I) Did the public benefit from the case?

j) Did the case result in a profound reformation of current ...


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