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Costs - Prevailing Party, Denial Of Costs - Amount, Security, Criminal Proceedings

law expenses court litigation

Fees and charges required by law to be paid to the courts or their officers, the amount of which is specified by court rule or statute. A monetary allowance, granted by the court to a prevailing party and recoverable from the unsuccessful party, for expenses incurred in instituting or defending an action or a separate proceeding within an action.

A bill of costs is a certified, itemized statement of the amount of the expenses incurred in bringing or defending a lawsuit.

A cost bond, or bond for costs, is a promise to pay litigation expenses; it is provided by a party to an action as a guarantee of payment of any costs awarded against him or her. A cost bond also might be required of an appealing party in a civil case, in order to cover the appellee's expenses if the judgment is affirmed.

Final costs are paid at the conclusion of an action, the liability for which depends upon its final outcome.

Interlocutory costs ACCRUE during the intermediate stages of a proceeding, as distinguished from final costs.

Security for costs refers to an assurance of payment that a defendant may demand of a plaintiff who does not reside within the jurisdiction of the court, for the payment of such costs as might be awarded to the defendant.

Statutory costs are amounts specified by law to be awarded for various phases of litigation.

The award of costs is not a penalty but is a method used to reimburse an innocent party for the expenses of litigation. Costs include the payment of court fees for the commencement of the litigation; the submission of pleadings or other documents; or the SERVICE OF PROCESS or other papers by a public officer. The appointment by a court of a referee to hear extremely technical testimony, or a receiver to retain and preserve the defendant's funds or property during litigation, is included in costs. Costs entail expenditures made in interviewing parties or witnesses prior to trial and the fees that are properly paid to witnesses who testify. Printing expenses for maps or necessary documents are also included.

Costs do not include the compensation of an attorney. Expenditures in terms of the adversary nature of the proceedings, however, are included. Only when specifically authorized by law may attorney's fees be awarded in addition to costs.

Amount

In some instances, the amount of costs is specified by law, which restricts a party who is awarded costs to the figure permitted by law for each component of the total costs.

Security

A court may order a party to post a bond to guarantee that costs will be paid if he or she is unsuccessful. Three other alternatives provide sufficient security: a signed statement by the party that he or she will pay determined costs; the deposit of sufficient funds with the court; or the promise of a person who accepts the obligation to pay in full if the party who would normally be responsible fails to do so.

Criminal Proceedings

Costs in criminal proceedings are those expenses specified by law that have been necessarily incurred in a criminal prosecution. The concept of costs was unknown at COMMON LAW. The allowance of costs, therefore, is based on the applicable statutory provisions.

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