United States District Court, S.D. New York
July 3, 2014
ABRAHAM CUCUTA, Plaintiff,
CITY OF NEW YORK, et al., Defendants
Abraham Cucuta, Plaintiff, Pro se, Beaver, WV.
For Erick Ortiz, Manhattan North Narcotics Detective, Abel Joseph, Manhattan North Narcotics Detective, Sergeant Neftall Betances, New York City, Lieutenant Anthony Ronda, Captain Kevin Radday, Manhattan North Narcotics Div., Carpenter, Manhattan North Narcotics Detective, Police Officer Winston Favis, Defendants: David Allen Cooper, LEAD ATTORNEY, New York City Law Department, New York, NY; Linda Margareta Mindrutiu, LEAD ATTORNEY, NYC Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel (NYC), New York, NY.
OPINION & ORDER
Andrew J. Peck, United States Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff Abraham Cucuta filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (" IFP" ), which Chief Judge Preska granted on October 15, 2013. (Dkt. No. 1: Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis; Dkt. No. 20: Order Granting IFP Application.) On May 9, 2014, this Court granted the defendants' summary judgment motion and dismissed this lawsuit. (See Dkt. No. 80: Opinion & Order.) On June 19, 2014, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d), the Clerk of Court entered a Bill of Costs in favor of defendants totaling $1,094.88, $983.20 of which was attributable to deposition transcripts. (Dkt. No. 82: Bill of Costs.) On June 24, 2014, Cucuta filed a letter arguing that his IFP status relieves him of responsibility for the costs identified in the Bill of Costs. (Dkt. No. 83: 6/24/14 Cucuta Letter.)
Contrary to Cucuta's assertion, the IFP statute and caselaw make clear that Cucuta's in forma pauperis status does not automatically excuse him fro paying costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(f)(2)(A) (" If the judgment against a prisoner includes the payment of costs under this subsection, the prisoner shall be required to pay the full amount of the costs ordered." ); see, e.g., D'Attore v. City of N.Y., 10 Civ. 6646, 2014 WL 173482 at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 8, 2014) (" 28 U.S.C. § 1915(f) expressly permits costs to be taxed against indigent prisoners . . . ." ); McMunn v. Mem'l Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., 97 Civ. 5857, 2003 WL 22910079 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 9, 2003) (" [C]osts may be awarded against a losing party even if that party would have difficulty
in paying the judgment and even if the party appeared in forma pauperis." ); Martin v. Ashcroft, 96 Civ. 7646, 2002 WL 31119434 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 24, 2002) (same).
Nevertheless, in the interest of justice and in this Court's discretion, Cucuta's apparent indigency warrants a reduction in the award of costs. See, e.g., D'Attore v. City of N.Y., 2014 WL 173482 at *2. Accordingly, this Court reduces the award of costs from $1,094.88 to $750.00.