Am I responsible for court costs?

I owed an ex-roommate $200 and I sent him a check to repay him. He claimed I owe’d him $1000 and refused to cash the $200 check. He took me to small claims and the judge seemed to indicate that he agreed with me that he had no right to ask for the extra $800, however he has not yet made a judgement. Also, my ex-roommate admitted in court I sent him the $200 check. In the case that he only awards him the $200 (given I admitted I owed him it), will I be responsible for paying court costs even though I sent him the check (considering I “technically” lost the case)?

Asked on July 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A party is not automatically responsible for the prevailing party's court costs. You'd be liable for them if either the agreement between you called for you to pay them if he had to sue you, or if he moves the court for an award of costs and the court decides to grant them. That is not necessarily likely unless the court decides that you could have avoided the necessity of litigation, but forced him to expend money needlessly.

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