Easterbrook Notes Split Re Whether Unsuccessful Indigent Litigants Must Pay Costs under FRCP 54(d)
Judge Easterbrook recently had the chance to note a circuit split in a concurring opinion in Rivera v. City of Chicago, --- F.3d ----, 2006 WL 3360536 (7th Cir. 2006):
"The court sensibly rejects Chicago's proposal to overrule Badillo v. Central Steel & Wire Co., 717 F.2d 1160 (7th Cir.1983), and its successors, which allow district judges to excuse unsuccessful but indigent litigants from paying costs under Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d). Whether indigent litigants must be ordered to pay statutory costs is a subject that has divided the circuits. Only the Supreme Court or an amendment under the Rules Enabling Act can produce national uniformity; there is little point in our moving restlessly from one side of the conflict to the other."