By Jedidiah McKeehan

In every single kind of court case, both civil and criminal, there is typically a cost to you just to be involved in the case.  That cost is what is commonly referred to as the court costs.  What are court costs?  Court costs are what the court system charges people on various kind of cases.

When you file a lawsuit against someone to evict them from a house you own, you must pay a filing fee in order to evict them.  That filing fee is the initial court costs that are charged.  There may or may not be additional court costs that are accrued during the case.  If the plaintiff (the person who pays an initial filing fee) prevails in their case against the defendant, the defendant may be ordered to pay the court costs, which means that the defendant will have to pay back the plaintiff what they initially paid to start the lawsuit.

In criminal cases, a defendant will very often have to pay court costs associated with their case.  These courts costs can range from a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.  Many defendants continue to have court dates for multiple years just because they cannot afford to pay their court costs and the judge makes them come back to court until their court costs are completely paid.

Why would they do that?  What’s the big deal?  Well, the court has to pay its employees, and one of the main ways they do this is by collecting court costs.  Those court costs fund not only the court system, but also the county government and the government always has things it can spend money on so they want to see as much money collected as possible.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.