On 07/29/2014 ALAN GROSMAN filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against MASAKO T KASLOFF. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Santa Monica Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF, LAWRENCE CHO, RICHARD A. STONE and CRAIG D. KARLAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Pending - Other Pending
Los Angeles County Superior Courts
Santa Monica Courthouse
Los Angeles, California
MITCHELL L. BECKLOFF
RICHARD A. STONE
CRAIG D. KARLAN
KASLOFF MASAKO T.
LEO'S GENERAL MASONRY
AZ GARAGE DOOR & GATE SERVICES INC.
MOCCIARO PERRY D.
COX CASTLE & NICHOLSON
SLOTT JEFFREY A.
O'NEILL MARY L.
CHODOS RAFAEL & JONATHAN
Court documents are not available for this case.
Miscellaneous-Other (CIVIL SUBPOENA ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice (OF RELATED CASE SC124531 ) Filed by Attorney for DefendantRead MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney Filed by Attorney for DefendantRead MoreRead Less
Notice-Case Reassignment and Order Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Amended Notice (FIRST RE TRIAL AND OTHER DATES ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice (OF UNAVAILABILITY ) Filed by Attorney for DefendantRead MoreRead Less
Ntc and Acknowledgement of Receipt Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice (NOTICE OF ERRATUM RE PRIOR NOTICE OF THE TRIAL AND OTHER DATES SEY BY COURT ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Trial (NOTICE OF TRIAL 5-16-16 9:30 AM DEPT M FINAL STATUS CONFERENCE 6-12-16 DEPT M ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Jury Instructions (JOINT ) Filed by Attorney for DefendantRead MoreRead Less
Statement-Case Management Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice (RE JURY FEE DEPOSIT ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Amendment to Complaint (LEOPOLDO SIMENTAL aka LEO SIMENTA dba LEO'S GENERAL MASONTY ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Amendment to Complaint (DOE 2 LEO'S GENERAL MASONRY ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice (NOTICE OF UNAVAILABILITY OF COUNSEL MARY L. O'NEILL ATTY FOR DEFTS FROM 10-18-14 - 11-5-14 ) Filed by Attorney for DefendantRead MoreRead Less
Answer to Complaint Filed Filed by Attorney for DefendantRead MoreRead Less
Proof-Service/Summons Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Notice (OF CMC ) Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Summons Filed Filed by Attorney for PlaintiffRead MoreRead Less
Complaint FiledRead MoreRead Less
Case Number: SC122883 Hearing Date: October 16, 2020 Dept: M
CASE NAME: Alan Grosman et al. v. Masako T. Kasloff
CASE NO.: SC122883
MOTION: Plaintiffs’ Motion to Tax Costs
Plaintiffs moves to tax Defendant’s request for costs on the grounds that Defendant is seeking to recover costs not permitted by law and that the line item costs are insufficient to establish that the costs were reasonably necessary to conduct the litigation.
Defendant’s memorandum of costs was filed on June 20, 2019 by mail. On July 9, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their motion to tax costs.
A prevailing party in litigation may recover costs, including but not limited to filing fees. (Code Civ. Proc., §1033.5(a)(1). Under Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5(c)(2), allowable costs are only recoverable if they are “reasonably necessary to the conduct of the litigation.” Even mandatory costs, when incurred unnecessarily, are subject to section 1033(c)(2). (Perko’s Enterprises, Inc. v. RRNS Enterprises (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 238, 245.) Section 1033.5(c)(4) provides that “[i]tems not mentioned in this section and items assessed upon application may be allowed or denied in the court’s discretion.” (Code Civ. Proc., §1033.5(c)(4).)
Under California Rules of Court Rule 3.1700, a party may file and serve a motion to tax costs listed in a memorandum of costs. Under Rule 3.1700(b)(1), “Any notice of motion to strike or to tax costs must be served and filed 15 days after service of the cost memorandum. If the cost memorandum was served by mail, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1013. If the cost memorandum was served electronically, the period is extended as provided in Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(a)(4).”
A verified memorandum of costs is prima facie evidence that the costs, expenses, and services therein listed were necessarily incurred. (Rappenecker v. Sea-Land Serv., Inc. (1979) 93 Cal.App.3d 256, 266.) A party seeking to tax costs must provide evidence to rebut this prima facie showing. (Jones v. Dumrichob (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1258, 1266.) Mere statements unsupported by facts are insufficient to rebut the prima facie showing that costs were necessarily incurred. (Id.)
This motion is timely. Plaintiff request that the Court tax the following amounts from the Defendants’ memorandum of costs:
Item No. 8 claiming $275.00 for witness fees;
Item No. 9 claiming $2,861.25 for court-ordered transcripts;
Item No. 11 claiming $2,500.00 for court reporter fees as established by statute;
Item No. 12 claiming $385.00 for models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits;
Item No. 13 claiming $1,400.00 for interpreter fees; and
Item No. 16 – “Other” defined as ADR Mediation Services for $3,765.00.
Item No. 8 claiming $275.00 for Witness fees
Plaintiffs argue that the Court should strike item no. 8 because the witnesses were all friendly to Mrs. Kasloff. In opposition, Defendant argues that Plaintiffs have not presented any statutory support or evidence to strike the fees. Defendant also argues that this cost was incurred in connection with trial testimony from the City of Malibu. (See Ex. 1 at 4.) In reply, Plaintiffs argue that Defendant has the burden of showing that the fee was properly incurred, citing, Acosta v. SI Corp. (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 1370, 1380 (“[I]f the items are properly objected to, they are put in issue and the burden of proof is on the party claiming them as costs.”). Plaintiffs also argue that this fee was paid prior to trial starting, noting that trial did not start on the date that the cost was incurred.
The Court finds that Plaintiffs did not meet their initial burden in showing that the cost was improper on its face. (See Acosta 129 Cal.App.4th at 1380 (“If the items appearing in a cost bill appear to be proper charges, the burden is on the party seeking to tax costs to show that they were not reasonable or necessary.”) The argument that a witness is potentially friendly to one party is not a reason to strike the associated cost. Defendant’s counsel’s declaration is prima facie evidence that this cost is proper. Therefore, the Court denies the motion to tax item 8.
Item No. 9 claiming $2,861.25 for court-ordered transcripts
Plaintiffs argue that the Court should strike item no. 9 because the court did not order preparation of any transcripts. In opposition, Defendant withdraws this cost. Since Plaintiffs provide evidence that the Court did not order transcripts and since Defendant withdraws item number 9, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion as to item no. 9.
Item No. 11 claiming $2,500.00 for court reporter fees as established by statute
Plaintiffs argue that the Court should strike item no. 11 because Defendant does not explain or support the amount claimed. In opposition, Defendant argues that Plaintiffs have not presented any statutory support or evidence to strike the fees. As noted above, Defendant’s cost memorandum is prima facie evidence of the costs. Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5(a)(11) includes “court reporter fees as established by statute.” Plaintiffs argue that the support for item 11 shows that the amount requested is slightly inflated. (See Ex. 2 to Brown Oppo. Decl.) In reply, Plaintiffs make new arguments that were not raised in the initial motion. The Court does not consider late arguments. Since there appears to be a small discrepancy, the Court Grants in part, the motion to tax item number 11 by $2.50. The new cost amount is $2,497.50.
Item No. 12 claiming $385.00 for models, enlargements, and photocopies of exhibits
Plaintiffs argue that the Court should strike item no. 12 because there is no explanation or itemization of costs for this item. In opposition, Defendant argues that this cost is permitted under the statute. Plaintiffs counter that Defendant seemingly admits in the opposition that these costs are for exhibits that were not used at trial. (See Opp. at 4:25-28.) Here, Defendants have not said outright whether the costs are for unused exhibits. Plaintiffs also argue that Defendant is attempting to obtain costs of $300.00 for “Display Screen and cables for Trial” (see Ex. 3 to Brown Decl. Ex. 3) but this cost was not allowable under the old version of the statute. Plaintiffs argue that the amendments were not retroactive. The current version of Code of Civil Procedure section 1033.5(a)(13) states that “[m]odels, the enlargements of exhibits and photocopies of exhibits, and the electronic presentation of exhibits, including costs of rental equipment and electronic formatting, may be allowed if they were reasonably helpful to aid the trier of fact.” (Code Civ. Proc., §1033.5(a)(13).) Since this cost was not permissible under the old statute, the Court grants in part the motion as to item 12 by $300. The new cost reads $85.00.
Item No. 13 claiming $1,400.00 for interpreter fees
Plaintiffs argue that the Court should strike item no. 13 because evidence code 752 does not provide for this cost. Evidence Code section 752 provides that “[w]hen a witness is incapable of understanding the English language or is incapable of expressing himself or herself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court, and jury, an interpreter whom the witness can understand and who can understand the witness shall be sworn to interpret for the witness. (b) The record shall identify the interpreter, who may be appointed and compensated as provided in Article 2 (commencing with Section 730) of Chapter 3, with that compensation charged as follows: . . . (2) In all civil actions, the compensation for an interpreter under this section shall, in the first instance, be apportioned and charged to the several parties in a proportion as the court may determine and may thereafter be taxed and allowed in a like manner as other costs.” (Evid. Code, § 752.)
Plaintiffs argue that since Defendant was a party and not a witness, Defendant is not entitled to recover this cost. Plaintiffs also argue that costs are permitted under Evidence Code section 752 if the interpreter is appointed by the Court and that did not occur in this matter. In opposition, Defendant argues that the express language of section 1033.5(a)(3)(B) allows recovery of interpreter fees “for the deposition of a party or witness.” Defendant also argues that Courts have recently permitted the recovery of deposition interpreter costs under section 1033.5(a)(3)(b). (See Segal v. ASICS America Corp. (2020) 50 Cal.App.5th 659, 670.)
The dates for checks issued in the opposition are for April 6, 2015, June 2, 2015, and June 6, 2015. (See Opp. Ex. 4.) In reply, Plaintiffs argue that Masako Kasloff was only deposed on October 14, 2014 and on November 7, 2014. (Laed Decl. ¶ 7.) Since the costs do not appear to arise from depositions, the motion to tax costs is GRANTED as to item number 13.
Item No. 16 – “Other” defined as ADR Mediation Services for $3,765.00.
Plaintiffs argue that the Court should strike item no. 16 because Code of Civil Procedure section 1023 allows for fees only for court-appointed referees. Code of Civil Procedure section 1023 provides that “[t]he fees of referees are such reasonable sum as the court may fix for the time spent in the business of the reference; but the parties may agree, in writing, upon any other rate of compensation, and thereupon such rates shall be allowed.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1023.) Plaintiffs argue that Defendant improperly seeks fees for private mediation. In opposition, Defendant argues that section 1033.5(c)(4) gives the Court discretion to allow costs not mentioned.
“In the absence of an authorizing statute, each party must bear its own costs of litigation. [citation.]” (Carr Business Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Chowchilla While Plaintiffs and Defendant attended mediation, the parties still went through a trial. The Court exercise its discretion and grants Plaintiffs’ motion to tax this cost.
For the reasons stated above, the motion to tax costs is granted with respect to item nos. 9, 13, and 16. The motion is GRANTED in part as to item nos. 11 and 12. The motion to tax costs is DENIED with respect to no. 8.
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