Peck v. IMC Credit Services, No. 19-3187 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
IMC mailed Peck, regarding a debt that Peck allegedly owed. The envelope's clear pane revealed a barcode containing Peck’s personal information. Peck sued IMC for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by revealing his personal information on the envelope and by failing to verify that Peck owed the debt after he disputed it. IMC made an offer of judgment of “$1,101, plus costs under Rule 68. Peck accepted. By email, Peck indicated he believed “costs” included damages under the Act. IMC explained that its offer accounted for $1,101 in statutory damages with interest, plus the costs typically recoverable by the prevailing party. The court ultimately entered judgment consistent with the Rule 68 offer and instructed Peck to file a bill of costs, limited to those contemplated by Federal Rule 54(d). Peck demanded $24,137.50 (reimbursement for the hundreds of hours he spent litigating) and $47,425.02 in punitive damages. Citing 28 U.S.C. 1920, the court denied his bill of costs and awarded $1,101.00.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that it lacked jurisdiction because the district court had not sufficiently articulated a rationale. The “costs” recoverable under Rule 54(d) include clerk and marshal fees; printed or electronically recorded transcripts; disbursements for printing and witnesses; fees for exemplification and making copies; docket fees; and compensation of court-appointed experts, interpreters, and for special interpretation services They do not include damages, nor the compensation Peck sought for his time and mailing expenses.