Court Costs Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Court Costs?

Court costs are the expenses incurred by the court for their day to day functioning like filing fees,court reporter charges for depositions,charges for serving summons and subpoenas,court transcripts and copying papers and exhibits.These costs are to be recovered by the losing party.Attorney’s fees can be included in this only if there is a law to include it in court costs.The losing party may can appeal to the judge to reduce the court costs in which case a trial is held to decide what costs to be included what to be excluded.

History and Meaning of Court Costs

Court costs are one of the legal terms causing confusion for the average citizen. Essentially, court costs refer to the fees and charges associated with operating the court system. Such charges are intended to cover the expenses incurred in the day-to-day operations of various court proceedings. It includes the costs of filing a lawsuit, case recording, and other expenditures incurred in a court case.

Examples of Court Costs

  1. A plaintiff may be asked to pay court fees to initiate a civil lawsuit.
  2. A defendant may be ordered by the court to pay court costs if they lose a civil lawsuit.
  3. Court fees may cover costs associated with jury selection or other court proceedings.
  4. Court reports and interpreters may be paid from the court costs collected during a trial.
  5. Litigants who appeal may also have to pay new court costs in the appellate court.

Legal Terms Similar to Court Costs

  • Filing fees: Fees charged to submit legal documents to the court for consideration.
  • Attorney fees: Fees charged by an attorney to represent a client in a legal proceeding, usually not covered by court costs.
  • Sheriff fees: Fees paid to the sheriff for serving court papers and other related duties.
  • Deposition fees: Charges for recording and transcribing statements made during a deposition, may be covered in court costs.