Motion to tax costs in California

A motion to tax costs in California is the topic of this blog post.

This blog post will also discuss requesting an order striking certain costs that were claimed in a memorandum of costs.

Deadline for filing a motion to tax costs in California.

If you want to file a motion to tax or strike certain costs in California you must serve and file the motion within the time limits specified by California law. Any motion for an order taxing or striking costs in California must be served and filed 15 days after service of the cost memorandum. If the cost memorandum was served by mail, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013. See California Rule of Court 3.1700(b)(1).

Law authorizing a motion to tax or strike costs in California.

A motion to tax costs in California is made pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.1700 which states in pertinent part that,

(b)(1)Striking and taxing costs

Any notice of motion to strike or to tax costs must be served and filed 15 days after service of the cost memorandum. If the cost memorandum was served by mail, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013. If the cost memorandum was served electronically, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(a)(4).

(2)Form of motion

Unless objection is made to the entire cost memorandum, the motion to strike or tax costs must refer to each item objected to by the same number and appear in the same order as the corresponding cost item claimed on the memorandum of costs and must state why the item is objectionable.”

Taxing costs means that the costs are reduced to a certain amount because the claimed costs are excessive for some reason, striking costs means that the costs are stricken because they are not authorized by law

You must specify in your motion to tax or strike costs in California exactly which item or items listed on the memorandum of costs should be taxed or stricken, unless you are objecting to the entire cost memorandum.  See California Rule of Court 3.1700(b)(2).

Grounds for filing a motion to tax or strike costs in California.

Note that there is also a deadline for serving and filing a memorandum of costs.

California Rule of Court 3.1700(a)(1) states that,  “A prevailing party who claims costs must serve and file a memorandum of costs within 15 days after the date of mailing of the notice of entry of judgment or dismissal by the clerk under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.5 or the date of service of written notice of entry of judgment or dismissal, or within 180 days after entry of judgment, whichever is first. The memorandum of costs must be verified by a statement of the party, attorney, or agent that to the best of his or her knowledge the items of cost are correct and were necessarily incurred in the case.”

If the memorandum of costs was not served and filed in accordance with California law, a motion to strike the entire cost memorandum could be filed.

Code of Civil Procedure § 1033.5 states in pertinent part that,

“Any award of costs shall be subject to the following:

Allowable costs shall be reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation rather than merely convenient or beneficial to its preparation.

Allowable costs shall be reasonable in amount.”

Even if a cost claimed is authorized by law, if it was not reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation, or is not reasonable in amount, a motion taxing costs can be filed.

A California Court of Appeal has ruled in a published case that once items in a cost memorandum are properly objected to, the burden of proof is placed on the party claiming them as costs.

Requesting an order striking certain costs is also appropriate in certain situations.  This is due to the fact that many times a party will attempt to claim costs that are not authorized by any California law, such as fees for experts that were not ordered by the Court, for example, or attorney fees when there is no contractual or other basis for claiming them.

I am aware of a case where the opposing party attempted to claim costs for witness fees where the witness testified in Court under oath that they had not been paid for their appearance!

The trial court has no discretion to award costs that are not authorized by California law as the right to costs in California is governed strictly by statute.

An experienced litigation attorney can evaluate your situation and determine if filing a motion to tax or strike costs is appropriate.  Contact attorney Nathan Mubasher for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.

Schedule a free consultation today with attorney Nathan Mubasher.

Call (800) 691-2721 and let’s talk about your options.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR NATHAN MUBASHER:

Law Offices of Nathan Mubasher
2621 Green River Rd, Ste 105 PMB 403
Corona, CA 92882
tel 1-800-691-2721 | fax 1-310-356-3660
www.mubasherlaw.com

DISCLAIMER:

Thank you for reading. I hope I could have been educational as I endeavor to provide my knowledge as a free public service. Please note that all the materials and information on this blog are general analyses made available for the public’s general informational purposes only. These analyses are not in any way intended to serve as specific legal advice to be applied in your particular situation. Although I am an attorney, absent a signed retention and engagement letter, I am not your attorney. There are no exceptions to this rule. Moreover, you shall not rely on the information I am providing you, as it is only for your general knowledge and educational purposes, since this information would likely change based on any additional facts. Thus the transmission and receipt of information on this blog by anyone does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. My knowledge of laws is limited to California. Anyone receiving any information on this blog should not act upon the information provided without first obtaining the services of professional legal counsel licensed in their respective jurisdiction. Best of luck.

 

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Author: nathanmubasher

Attorney Nathan Mubasher earned a post-doctorate LL.M. in International Financial Transactions with emphasis on Money Laundering and Compliance at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a J.D. at American College of Law, and his B.A. at University of California, Riverside. He is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California. He is also an active member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the California Society for Healthcare Attorneys. He has performed over 1,000 mediations and has Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) training from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

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