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If the Plaintiff dismiss the case without prejudice, what's is the stature limitation for filing a motion to collect my costs?

Irvine, CA |

I was sued by the Plaintiff. After a month, he dismissed without prejudice due to he discovered that he sued a wrong person. But I was served the court complaint for over a month. I have my damages including my costs for the preparation, my precious time lost and my emotional distress damages. I have two questions as below:
1)What is the stature limitation to file a motion for my costs;
2)What is the stature limitation to sue the Plaintiff for my damages? Can I collect my emotional damages.

Attorney Answers 1

  1. You seem to be conflating "cost" with "damages"and they are separate concepts in the law. You cannot recover damages for emotional injuries or otherwise by a motion for costs. You also cannot recover attorney's fees by a motion for costs. Costs are hard dollar-out of pocket costs for defense, such as filing fees and service expenses, and it would be highly surprising if you had much in the way of costs just a month after service. Your precious time lost will not be chargeable as a cost in a costs motion.

    You will have to pursue your emotional injury damages or other damages by a suit for damages. That suit is not likely to be worth much if anything, and you will not find it easy to retain a skilled and experienced attorney on contingency. It is extremely unlikely that a civil suit that lasted one month will support damages for abuse of process, malicious prosecution or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    Most skilled litigation attorneys will tell you to take your dismissal and move on. It will cost you a great deal more to litigate this matter than you can reasonably expect to recover.

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