United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOC. 84]
S. GWIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
former recruits at the Cleveland Police Academy, brought this
suit under 20 U.S.C. § 1983. With their complaint, they
allege that Defendants violated their procedural due process
rights by terminating them on plagiarism charges without
giving them notice and an opportunity for a hearing.
Court granted summary judgment for Defendants. Defendants
now move for attorney's fees and $14, 856.49 in
courts may award attorney's fees to a prevailing
defendant in § 1983 actions, but only where the
plaintiff's action was “frivolous, unreasonable, or
action was none of those things. Plaintiffs raised close
questions of state law and federal constitutional law.
Plaintiffs' property-interest claim turned on a complex
Cleveland Civil Service Rules interpretation issue. Their
liberty-interest claim involved a factually close claim on a
legal issue that has divided the circuits. The Court denies
Defendants' sought attorney's fees.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1), the Court generally
awards costs to the prevailing party. However, the Court may
decline to do so when it would be inequitable under all
circumstances in the case.
Defendants did not bog down the case or “inject
unmeritorious issues, ” the other relevant factors
disfavor awarding costs.
the claimed expenses are “unnecessary or unreasonably
large.” Defendants spent $3, 658.86 scanning
Plaintiffs' academy notebooks and $7, 860.13 on hearing
and deposition transcripts; neither played a substantive role
in their summary judgment motion. Second, as discussed, the
case was “close and difficult.” Third, Plaintiffs
litigated the case in good faith. Finally, the case had
public importance. The public has an interest in the
integrity of the Cleveland Police Academy and the fairness of
its disciplinary procedures.
the Court DENIES Defendant's motion for
attorney's fees and costs.
 Doc. 82.
 Doc. 84. Plaintiffs oppose. Doc.