force defendants to finance much of their indigent adversary's trial preparation regardless of the outcome of the case. The application of this rule is particularly appropriate when, as here, the need for the expenditure sought is doubtful, and reasonable, less costly alternatives exist." Doe v. United States of America, 112 F.R.D. 183, 184-85 (S.D.N.Y. 1986); See also e.g., Tabron, 6 F.3d at 158-60; Badman v. Stark, 139 F.R.D. 601, 605-06 (M.D. Pa. 1991)("[a] defendant is not required to advance the plaintiff's deposition expenses merely because the plaintiff is unable to pay for such costs and fees").
Again, in Tabron, while the court acknowledged that a district court, as part of its "inherent equitable powers" in supervising discovery, maintains the "discretion to order an opposing party to pay for or to provide copies of deposition transcripts for an indigent litigant as a condition precedent to allowing that party to take depositions," the Third Circuit did not upset the lower court's decision that it was unnecessary in that case. Tabron, 6 F.3d at 159. Significantly, plaintiff "attended and participated in all of the depositions and therefore was able to take notes and compile information from the live testimony." Id. The Third Circuit found that this consideration, coupled with the fact that plaintiff offered no viable reason for the necessity of the transcripts, was sufficient reason to deny plaintiff's request that defendants provide gratuitous copies of the deposition transcripts, in light of the general rule that "indigent litigants bear their own litigation expenses." Id. Hence, in this Circuit, the basic tenet, that a litigant bears the burden of financing his own litigation expenses, adheres in the great majority of cases and circumstances. Id.
With this framework in mind, it is particularly significant that the plaintiff, in the instant dispute, seeks the deposition transcript of his own deposition. As such, all of the answers to the questions posed during that deposition are within plaintiff's personal knowledge. To the extent that plaintiff wants the deposition transcript to recall the exact questions posed and the answers he gave, plaintiff could have taken notes during the deposition to memorialize the information that he now seeks. This Court will not subvert the established rules, set forth herein, simply because plaintiff may have neglected to avail himself of this opportunity.
Based upon the foregoing, and once again recognizing that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically require parties and deponents who seek to retain copies of deposition transcripts to assume the reasonable costs for their production, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(f)(2), plaintiff's motion for free transcripts of his deposition is hereby denied. Accordingly, an appropriate Order shall follow.
This matter having been opened to the Court by Peter Joe Rivera, plaintiff prisoner pro se, seeking an Order granting him free transcripts of his deposition, and the Court having considered the moving papers, and the opposition thereto, and the Court having entered a Memorandum on this date setting forth the Court's decision in this matter, which is being considered pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 78, and for good cause shown,
IT IS on this 6th day of March, 1997,
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for free deposition transcripts is denied.
Freda L. Wolfson
United States Magistrate Judge