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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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How might a pro se file for reimbursement when won the day

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How might a pro se file for reimbursement when won the day every issue over 2 yerars enfoce contemt case, per proofs of expenses at such as office depot , fax, internet, printer paper ink, file fiolders, clips, penscomputer printer itself etc. milage ?

Thank you for your question.

Unfortunately, when they say that "costs" are recoverable when you are successful in court, it does not include your supply expenses that you are referring to here. You may only recover your filing fees and the following costs:

§ 57.071. Costs; what taxable

(1) If costs are awarded to any party, the following shall also be allowed:

(a) The reasonable premiums or expenses paid on all bonds or other security furnished by such party.

(b) The expense of the court reporter for per diem, transcribing proceedings and depositions, including opening statements and arguments by counsel.

(c) Any sales or use tax due on legal services provided to such party, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary.

(2) Expert witness fees may not be awarded as taxable costs unless the party retaining the expert witness furnishes each opposing party with a written report signed by the expert witness which summarizes the expert witness's opinions and the factual basis of the opinions, including documentary evidence and the authorities relied upon in reaching the opinions. Such report shall be filed at least 5 days prior to the deposition of the expert or at least 20 days prior to discovery cutoff, whichever is sooner, or as otherwise determined by the court. This subsection does not apply to any action proceeding under the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.

The expenses you are talking about above are unfortunately not recoverable and you must bear the expense yourself.

This is called the "American Rule" and it is hard on litigants. It seems unfair because the other side is the reason that you were forced to incur these expenses. However, the policy in the US is that these expenses are borne by the party which brings the case, because the other side has the right to defend themselves.

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating does not cause an additional charge and will not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thanks for clearing this up, now how about the legal fees I incurrd via the 3 seperate attorneys who filed dradfted mediated ordered the three court orders i have won/enforced? in other words may I go back in time to the expenses borne in 1994, 98 & 2001? or is it recoverable only legal services expenses specificically per this action ie contemt /enfore of those prior 3 court (in 94-98 & 2001) orders?

Generally, if the legal fees are recoverable at all (which they usually are not under the American Rule) then they will be recoverable in the entire case. If the contempt orders are all issued by the same court for the same case, then they may be recoverable.

Because we are talking about contempt orders, the judge will have the power to grant you an attorney's fee award under the contempt powers of the court. Therefore, if the attorney's fees were incurred to seek contempt orders from the same original lawsuit, it is possible (although not guaranteed) that you may be able to recover the attorneys fees as a sanction under the court's contempt power.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i wonder since language in the court ordered agrments specify to the effect " if one party prevails enforcing the other party must pay all related legal expenses . is this simply negated b y the American Rule?


The court can augment the rule under its discretion through its contempt powers. This is a special exception to the American Rule. So if the court orders a party who violates the order to pay legal expenses, then you can definitely recover any related legal fees you incurred. However, this won't include the expenses you stated in the beginning of the question.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

im a bit confused, there is an exeption to the Amer rule, but I can't receive legal printing, postage, envelpoes paper, motiions costs ? The magistrate refused entry per my office depot receipts, can one ever specify paper & ink specifically per this case? An attorney & staff fee $350 $500 to cover same said expenses enforcing or defending why is pro se so prejudced by the court? Shold i read the ameran rule where might I find it s language ?

Office supply expenses are generally not recoverable. The attorney is charging the hourly fee for his legal services which are separate from his office expenses. Sure he pays his office expenses out of this, but the value of the services he provides for the hourly rate is not at all based on his office expenses.

These are simply not costs that are generally recoverable.

Now, I've said that, but that does not mean you can try and ask for them. Because you are in a contempt of court situation and the judge has wide discretionary powers, the judge could very well make an exception and grant you these extraneous costs. While it is unlikely that the judge would do so, there is no penalty for asking.

If you were to do so, you would need to make an itemized list of the expenses and then attach a copy of the receipts that you have or other proof of payment.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have asked , no ruling so far, but a paralegal's draFT 2 years ago requested $5000 for such said legal expenses, per language i citeted above expneses per enforcement. , I was tryin gto comprfehend ho paper folders were bought per this action, the magistrate did not give your version reasoning. . w areciept can be rejected only on the merrits it cant specify ink , nay insights are appreciated finishing this thought

Hi, there are some typos in the last message from you that make it hard for me to understand exactly what you're saying. Can you retype that for me?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have asked for reimbursement of my $35,000 in legal expenses. , no ruling by magistrate so far, . Incidentally my paralegal' whne draftion a modified motion for contempt enforcement 2 years ago paralegal requested $5000 for such said legal expenses,


I'm trying to comprehend why no paper, folders , that I must buy per this action., that In trial 2 weeks ago, the magistrate did not explain to me why when she denied my office depo proofs /reciepts as you ZDN have explained per American rule " . expound i f you will. Last question do attoenys keep records from 13 yearas ago for me to show the court?

Well, these sort of expenses for office supplies just simply are not considered legal expenses generally. I've never seen a judge grant an award for these type of expenses unless they were directly tied to deposition expenses.

So, again, the American Rule (as opposed to the English Rule) states that each party must bear their own expenses and costs in litigation unless specifically otherwise provided by a statute. In Flordia,, the statutes state that if you win the lawsuit, you may recover costs. Generally what is a recoverable cost is set by the statute which I cited in the first part of my answer. The specific costs you are referencing are not generally considered recoverable under the statute.

In your case, you have asked for the costs and the Magistrate has rejected them. Because they are not required to be reimbursed under the statute, the Magistrate was not abusing its discretion in disallowing the costs award to you.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Then per this past weeks subcontracted labors prepair docs, drafting strike motions, is a legal expense right ? May i prsent to the court in trial costs for said tria upcomming? said legal expense is amoving issue and payment receipts are allowed as credit right? I will have the subcontractors invocie for their works per pre for 2nd trial date & motions for extended time motion. will this work ??

Yes, those are allowable legal expenses generally.

You generally need to present the expenses you are seeking at the time of your motion. If you have further expenses, you may include that when you incur them by filing a supplement to the motion for expenses.