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Thomas v. Bzoskie

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 21, 2017

DESEAN LAMONT THOMAS, Plaintiff,
v.
PASTOR JAMES BZOSKIE, LIEUTENANT LAWERENCE HEART, DAKOTA COUNTY MN, LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN VERBY, CAPTAIN RICHARD SCHROEDER, and COMMANDER DAN SCHEUERMANN, Defendants.

          DeSean Lamont Thomas, pro se.

          Helen R. Brosnahan and Jeffrey A. Timmerman, DAKOTA COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, for defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE.

         On April 29, 2015, Plaintiff DeSean Lamont Thomas filed an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 asserting that, while in custody at the Dakota County Jail, Defendants Pastor James Bzoskie, Lieutenant Lawrence Heart, Lieutenant Benjamin Verby, and Dakota County (“Defendants”) violated Thomas's constitutional rights. (Compl., Apr. 29, 2015, Docket No. 1; Second Am. Compl., Aug. 11, 2016, Docket No. 115.) On August 14, 2017, the Court granted summary judgement for Defendants. (Mem. Op. & Order, Aug. 14, 2017, Docket No. 204.) Thomas filed several post-trial motions, requests, and other documents.

         I. BILL OF COSTS

         Defendants sought to recover $1, 731.75 in costs from Thomas under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1). (Bill of Costs, Aug. 16, 2017, Docket No. 206.) The Clerk allowed $1, 656.75 and entered a cost judgment accordingly. (Cost Judgment, Oct. 5, 2017, Docket No. 214.)

         On August 25, 2017 - after Defendants filed their Bill of Costs but before the Clerk entered the cost judgment - Thomas filed a “Request for Permission to Proceed & Refute Bill of Costs.” (Request, Aug. 25, 2017, Docket No. 209.) In it, Thomas states that the Defendants “voluntarily wasted their resources on a tactical failure, which resulted in a waste that the Plaintiff should not be responsible for, ” that he may still prevail on appeal, and that this action was neither frivolous nor brought in bad faith. (Id. at 1-2.) Thomas asks the Court for relief from the Bill of Costs. (Id. at 2.)

         Local Rule 54.3(c)(3) provides:

(3) Review of clerk's action.
(A) Within 14 days after the clerk taxes costs, a party may file and serve a motion and supporting documents for review of the clerk's action.
(B) Within 14 days after being served with the motion for review, a party may file and serve a response.
(C) Unless the court orders otherwise, a party must not file reply brief.

         D. Minn. LR 54.3(c)(3). The Local Rules afford Thomas the opportunity to seek review of the cost judgment. But Thomas did not file a request for review within 14 days of entry of the cost judgment, meaning that Thomas has waived his ability to challenge the cost judgment under the Local Rules. The Court will thus deny Thomas's request. Moreover, Thomas's request - to the extent that it can be construed as a request for review of the cost judgment - contains no “supporting documents” that show why the Court should deny Defendants the costs to which Rule 54(d) presumes they are entitled. See Thompson v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 472 F.3d 515, 517 (8th Cir. 2006). “To rebut the presumption that the prevailing party is entitled to recover all of its costs, the district court must provide a rationale for denying the prevailing party's claim for costs. . . . A general statement of fairness is insufficient, without more, to rebut the Rule 54(d)(1) presumption for an award of costs to the prevailing party.” Id.

         II. ...


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