The ability to recover appellate costs offers important leverage between parties. However, courts do not automatically award these costs. Knowing exactly how to recover them takes the expertise of an experienced California appellate law attorney. Whether you have a California state or Ninth Circuit federal appeal, let us help.
Procedure for recovering costs in the California Court of Appeal
Before knowing how to recover state appellate costs in California, a party must know what a remittitur is. This is the last step of the appeal process. Once the time to review an opinion passes, the Court of Appeal issues a remittitur. This document transfers jurisdiction of an issue back to the trial court, opening the door to recovering appellate costs.
Within 40 days of the remittitur being issued, the party requesting costs must file and serve a verified memorandum in superior court. “Verified” means affirming that to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, the costs are accurate and were necessarily incurred.
Another party may oppose this request for costs by filing and serving a notice of motion to strike and tax costs within 15 days of service of the cost memorandum. A party may use this approach to oppose unreasonable or unnecessary costs. If the costs are awarded, however, they become enforceable as a money judgment.
Procedure for recovering costs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
A party seeking costs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has a limited time to do so. Within 14 days of entry of judgment, the party must file a bill of costs with the clerk. The bill of costs must be itemized, verified, and served on all other parties. A party objecting to these costs has 14 days from being served with the bill of costs to do so. The court may extend time to object.
The clerk will prepare and certify an itemized statement of costs for insertion in the mandate. However, issuance of the mandate cannot be delayed for purposes of taxing costs. If the mandate issues before costs are determined, a specific procedure applies. The district clerk must, upon the circuit clerk’s request, add the cost statement (or amendment of it) to the mandate.
The bill of costs must be submitted using Form 10, provided by the Ninth Circuit. It shall include the following information:
- The number of copies of the briefs or excerpts of record reproduced; and
- The actual cost per page for each document
Failure to timely file the bill of costs will result in denial of appellate costs, absent good cause. If another party objects to the bill of costs, that objection will be treated as a motion. The clerk may enter an order disposing of a bill of costs. This order is subject to reconsideration if an exception is filed within 14 days of entry.
A request for attorney’s fees has its own procedure. It must be filed within 14 days of the expiration of the period to petition for rehearing. The party requesting attorney’s fees has 14 days from disposition of the petition to file the request.
We Understand The Rules for Recovering Appellate Costs
The recovery of appellate costs is governed by clear rules that have to be followed to the letter. Missing a deadline or failing to include a piece of information could risk recovery. Fortunately, when you retain Gusdorff Law, you have an appellate attorney who understands these rules. Let us get to work on your state or federal appeal today.