Thursday, March 17, 2016
No Award of Costs for Exhibits Not Used, Court of Appeal Rules
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday that costs are not recoverable where they relate to exhibits that were not used at trial.
The plaintiff dismissed the case five days before trial was slated to start,
“There is a split in authority as to whether costs for exhibits not used at trial are recoverable,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sanjay Kumar, sitting on assignment, said in his opinion for Div. Five. “We conclude those costs are not recoverable.”
Kumar pointed to Code of Civil Procedure §1033.5(a)(13), which allows as costs “[m]odels and blowups of exhibits and photocopies of exhibits may be allowed if they were reasonably helpful to aid the trier of fact.”
“Here, the case was dismissed before trial. Defendant’s costs for exhibits not used at trial are not allowed under section 1033.5, subdivision (a)(13) because they were not reasonably helpful to aid the trier of fact.”
The opinion reverses a $3,451.04 award of costs, pertaining to exhibits, allowed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey.
The total amount he allowed in costs to the defendant was $26,324.08,
Kumar’s opinion also orders Mackey to scrap his $700 award for same-day service of four deposition subpoenas and one trial subpoena based on the defendant’s failure to show a necessity for speed, directing that he “determine the amount of costs that should be awarded for unexpedited service of process.”
The opinion sides with Mackey in his allowance in $9,000 in costs relating to a trial technician, and $11,029.22 for deposition costs.
The case is Colman v. Feintech, B264485.
Attorneys on appeal were Jeremy J. Osher of Boren, Osher & Luftman, for the plaintiff and appellant, and Christopher Chatham of Chatham & Hogan, for the defendant and respondent.
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