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court costs

n. fees for expenses that the courts pass on to attorneys, who then pass them on to their clients or to the losing party. Court costs usually include: filing fees, charges for serving summons and subpenas, court reporter charges for depositions (which can be very expensive), court transcripts and copying papers and exhibits. The prevailing party in a lawsuit is usually awarded court costs. Attorneys' fees can be included as court costs only if there is a statute providing for attorneys' fee awards in a particular type of case, or if the case involved a contract which had an attorneys' fee clause (commonly found in promissory notes, mortgages and deeds of trust). If a losing party does not agree with the claimed court costs (included in a filed cost bill) he/she/it may move (ask) the judge to "tax costs" (meaning reduce or disallow the cost), resulting in a hearing at which the court determines which costs to allow and in what amount (how much).

See also: cost bill  prevailing party 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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