Costs Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Costs, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Costs?

It is a short term for court costs, this is the amount of money required by the court to pay to their officers and meet their day to day expenses.

History and Meaning of Costs

The term "costs" refers to the amount of money that a party has to pay in order to cover the expenses of conducting legal proceedings. The costs are usually awarded to the prevailing party in a lawsuit, and can include things like court fees, expert witness fees, and attorney fees. In common use, the term "costs" is often used interchangeably with "legal fees" or "legal expenses."

Examples of Costs

Here are a few examples of how the term "costs" might be used in legal contexts:

  • After winning his lawsuit, John was awarded costs in the amount of $10,000 to cover his legal fees.
  • The court ordered Karen to pay the costs of the defendant, which included expert witness fees and other expenses.
  • In order to file a motion with the court, you will need to pay the initial costs associated with the filing.

Legal Terms Similar to Costs

Here are a few related legal terms that might be helpful to know:

  • Attorney fees: The fees charged by an attorney for their legal services.
  • Court fees: The fees charged by the court for various legal proceedings, such as filing a lawsuit or motion.
  • Expert witness fees: The fees charged by an expert witness for their testimony or other contributions to a legal case.
  • Filing fees: The fees charged by the court for filing various legal documents.