If I’ve filed suit pro se and lose, will I have to pay the other party’s court costs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I’ve filed suit pro se and lose, will I have to pay the other party’s court costs?

I’ve had to file Pro Se as I have been unable to find an attorney. Aside from filing fees, are there any other court fees that I will be expected to pay? And as stated above, what if I lose? Will they come after me for their court costs?

Asked on February 5, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In something like 95 -98% of cases, each party pays its own legal fees--so that the loser does not have to pay the winner's legal fees. Generally, one party needs to pay the other's legal fees only when:
1) There is a contract between them stating that in the event of litigation, the losing party pays the attorneys fees for the prevailing party.
2) There lawsuit involves one of a small number of statues which require the payment of legal fees. (Employment discrimination lawsuit may involve this, for example.)
3) One of the parties can be shown to have raised completely frivolous or baseless claims or defenses (i.e. ones without any real support or grounds) and so unnecessarily caused the other side to expend money in litigation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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