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California memorandum of costs

A California memorandum of costs is the topic of this blog post. This post briefly discusses the basic procedure required for claiming prejudgment costs after the entry of a judgment in California. In order to be awarded any prejudgment costs a party must file and serve a verified memorandum of costs within the period of time specified by California law.

However readers of this blog post should be fully aware that the circumstances of each case are unique and the actual deadline that will apply to any particular case depends on a variety of factors which will be discussed below.

The deadline to file and serve a memorandum of costs is set forth in California Rule of Court 3.1700(a)(1) which states in pertinent part that, “A prevailing party who claims costs must serve and file a memorandum of costs within 15 days after the date of mailing of the notice of entry of judgment or dismissal by the clerk under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.5 or the date of service of written notice of entry of judgment or dismissal, or within 180 days after entry of judgment, whichever is first.”

Code of Civil Procedure § 664.5 states that,

“(a) In any contested action or special proceeding other than a small claims action or an action or proceeding in which a prevailing party is not represented by counsel, the party submitting an order or judgment for entry shall prepare and mail a copy of the notice of entry of judgment to all parties who have appeared in the action or proceeding and shall file with the court the original notice of entry of judgment together with the proof of service by mail. This subdivision does not apply in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal separation.

(b) Promptly upon entry of judgment in a contested action or special proceeding in which a prevailing party is not represented by counsel, the clerk of the court shall mail notice of entry of judgment to all parties who have appeared in the action or special proceeding and shall execute a certificate of such mailing and place it in the court’s file in the cause.

(c) For purposes of this section, “judgment” includes any judgment, decree, or signed order from which an appeal lies.

(d) Upon order of the court in any action or special proceeding, the clerk shall mail notice of entry of any judgment or ruling, whether or not appealable.

(e) The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 1999, adopt a rule of court for the purposes of providing that, upon entry of judgment in a contested action or special proceeding in which a state statute or regulation has been declared unconstitutional by the court, the Attorney General is promptly notified of the judgment and that a certificate of that mailing is placed in the court’s file in the cause.”

You should also be aware that in order for a clerk’s notice of entry of judgment to trigger the 15-day deadline it must comply with Code of Civil Procedure § 664.5. In some cases a clerk will simply mail a file-stamped copy of the judgment with something attached usually referred to as a a “Certificate of Mailing” even thought that will not satisfy the “service pursuant to court order” requirement of Code of Civil Procedure § 664.5 and as a result fails to start the 15-day clock as has been stated by the California Supreme Court in at least two cases.

Attorneys or parties in California should carefully review any notice of entry of judgment served by the clerk to determine whether or not the clerk has served a notice of entry of judgment that fully complies with the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure § 664.5 including a statement that any document mailed by the clerk is being given upon “order of the court” or “under section 664.5. If the clerk fails to do so and no other party serves and files a notice of entry of judgment the deadline to file and serve a memorandum of costs is 180 days after entry of judgment.

To view over 300 sample legal documents created by the author of this blog post visit: http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is an entrepreneur and freelance paralegal that has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995 and has created over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation.

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DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

 

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