Clarification Whether A Party Is Required To File A Proposed Judgment Together With A Memorandum Of Costs In a Voluntary Dismissal Scenario

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In Fries v. Rite Aid Corp., 2009 DJDAR 5721 (April 24, 2009), the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District clarified an issue concerning the procedure for properly filing a memorandum of costs where a plaintiff voluntarily dismisses an action. The court analyzed whether a party who seeks costs after a voluntary dismissal, is required to file a proposed judgment in addition to the memorandum of costs. The court concluded that there was no legal requirement that the party file a proposed judgment in addition to the cost memorandum. The court clarified a procedural issue that has been pending for some time. The importance of this question from an attorney fee standpoint is that when any California statute refers to the award of “costs and attorneys fees,” the fees may be recoverable as a component of the costs to be awarded. Attorneys’ fees allowable as costs may be fixed upon noticed motion, at the time a statement of decision is rendered and/or, as in this case, on a cost memorandum supported by affidavit, made concurrently with a claim for other costs.

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