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What Are Court Costs?

When filing a lawsuit, many documents need to be filed and many individuals need to be employed in order to further the litigation process. Such documents and individuals involve a payment, and expenses incurred in the process of litigation are referred to as court costs.


Court costs refer to all the expenses incurred by an individual in terms of filing a lawsuit, but do not include the attorney fees. The process of obtaining and receiving court costs involves the court keeping track of all the expenses incurred by the person, which is then given to the attorney to give to the client. However, it is possible that individuals who win in cases involving damages or awards may have such damages or awards cover for whatever court costs were incurred. Court costs not only provide for the goods or services elicited from a court of law, but also serve as a disincentive for litigants or prospective litigants to file nuisance lawsuits. This is because such litigants may end up paying such court costs in the event that they lose their case.


Court costs are reasonable expenses that the court needs in order to assure that cases are heard and processed in a timely manner. Such costs include the general administration of the court, as well as to fund the public defenders, lawyers that the court provides for people who cannot afford a lawyer of their own. Costs also include the filing and copying of documents, compensating witnesses and jurors for their time, and others.

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