Just won a lawsuit? Before you file your memo of costs, read the dissent in Srabian v. Triangle Truck Center (D5 Aug. 12, 2022 No. F080066) (nonpub. opn.). The upshot: A memo of costs needs to be signed under penalty of perjury. It is an evidentiary showing, after all.
In this, the Judicial Council form MC-010 for the memo of costs has been letting us all down. The memo of costs is required to be “verified,” and that means signed under penalty of perjury. But the form doesn’t have that language. So if you use it, expect your opponent may deploy Justice Kathleen Meehan’s sound reasoning in her dissent.
Justice Meehan noted that the Judicial Council did get it right in its form for costs after appeal. Form APP-013 includes a penalty-of-perjury recital.
Justice Meehan underscores the importance of the penalty-of-perjury requirement by referencing the fact that the memo of costs here contained a number of obvious inaccuracies, and yet the trial court awarded the exact amount stated on the memo. Thus, the defect did prejudice the appellant: “[T]his is exactly why the sworn nature of the cost memorandum is important—it reminds all claimants and their attorneys of the need for accuracy and the grave responsibility they have with respect to the truth and correctness of the costs being sought.”