Skip to main content

Are awarded court costs the same as attorney fees?

San Jose, CA |

I see cases that the judgement is that plaintiff is liable for court costs. Does that mean the defendants' costs as in attorney fees or is this something else?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


not necessarily. court costs include filing fees and attorney fees are a type of cost which are awarded only if allowed by law.


Court costs are awarded to any prevailing party. Attorney fees can be awarded as court costs only if there is a contract that allows for that, or if there is a statutory basis for a claim of fees. Unless there is a contract or a statute, there is no right to fees as costs.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


Court costs are usually a small amount of money compared to attorney fees.

Court costs can include the filing fee for the lawsuit and some ancillary expenses, such as serving the other party.

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer