What is the time allowed in CA to file an Objection to the Memorandum of Costs filed by Plaintiffs
San Francisco, CA |
Defendants Attorneys were allowed in the final Order to file for Costs in a Complex Civil Litigation matter. They claim $16,635 costs for Filing Fees and Motions, and no other costs were claimed on the costs form.
You have 10 days to file your Motion to Tax Costs pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 685.070(c).
A Motion to Tax Costs is the procedure used in the Superior Court of California to challenge the costs set forth in a verified Memorandum of Costs pursuant to California Rules of Court (CRC), Rule 3.1700(b). If the cost memorandum was served by mail, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013. (CRC, Rule 3.1700(b)(1).) After the time has passed for a motion to strike or tax costs or for determination of that motion, the clerk must immediately enter the costs on the judgment. (CRC, Rule 3.1700(b)(4).)
"If the items appearing in a cost bill appear to be proper charges, the burden is on the party seeking to tax costs to show that they were not reasonable or necessary. On the other hand, if the items are properly objected to, they are put in issue and the burden of proof is on the party claiming them as costs." (Ladas v. Cal. State Auto. Assoc. (1993) 19 Cal.App.4th 761, 774.)
What this means is that if the items appear to be proper charges the verified memorandum is prima facie evidence that the costs, expenses and services therein listed were necessarily incurred by the defendant, and the burden of showing that an item is not properly chargeable or is unreasonable is upon the objecting party. (Nelson v. Anderson (1998) 72 Cal.App.4th 111, 131.)
If you are, as it seems, representing yourself, you are on the receiving end of why it is never a good idea to do so. Serious time limitations affect litigation. It may be within 10 days of being served with the M/C if it is under CCP 685.070(c). The form you were served, if a judicial council form will tell you on there your time to "tax costs".
Use the AVVO.com web site to find an attorney in your area. In addition to that, contact your local bar association for referral to an attorney who specializes in this or talk to friends and neighbors to ask about an attorney they have used and liked. Often, but not always, the attorney will do an initial consultation free of charge. You will then be in a better position to determine what to do next. Best of luck to you!
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Eliz. C. A. Johnson
Post Office Box 8
Danville, California 94526-0008
Legal disclaimer: I do not practice law in any state but California. As such, any responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to a general understanding of law in California and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.
Ms. Johnson is correct. Code of Civil Procedure section 685.070(c) provides as follows:
"(c) Within 10 days after the memorandum of costs is served on the
judgment debtor, the judgment debtor may apply to the court on
noticed motion to have the costs taxed by the court. The notice of
motion shall be served on the judgment creditor. Service shall be
made personally or by mail. The court shall make an order allowing or
disallowing the costs to the extent justified under the
circumstances of the case."
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.