Civil Procedure Costs Law and Legal Definition

The expenses of a suit or action which may be recovered by law from the losing party. Such allowable costs are often defined by statute or by a court's rules, and, under the American Rule, in most cases they do not include attorney fees. Court costs usually include: filing fees, charges for serving summons and subpoenas, court reporter charges for depositions, court transcripts and copying papers and exhibits. Attorneys' fees can be included as court costs only if there is a statute providing for attorneys' fee awards in a particular type of case, or if the case involved a contract which had an attorneys' fee clause. If a losing party does not agree with the claimed court costs, they may make a motion to the judge requesting to "tax costs", meaning reduce or disallow the cost. A hearing will be held at which the court determines which costs to allow and in what amount .

R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1) provides, in pertinent part, that 'costs other than attorneys' fees shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs.' Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). Rule 54(d)(1) creates a presumption in favor of awarding costs to the prevailing party. Most courts have rejected arguments that good faith in prosecuting the underlying action should defeat the presumption in favor of awarding costs.