Nothing in Statues Require Costs Memo Filing, With CRC 3.1702 Governing.
In ruling on a first impression issue on the published level, Kaufman v. Diskeeper Corp., Case No. B 248151 (2d Dist., Div. 4 Aug. 21, 2014) (published) decided that a party seeking contractual fees under Civil Code section 1717 need not, in addition to filing a noticed motion, file a costs memorandum in order to seek fee recovery in most contested matters.
The applicable statute, CCP § 1033.5(c)(5), only talks about fees as a costs item to be fixed by noticed motion unless in default judgment or stipulation otherwise contexts. So, that meant that CRC 3.1702 did govern despite some ambiguity in CRC 3.1700(a), because the former was more specific and “trumped” the other more general directive—with 3.1702 requiring a noticed motion to claim fees. The language in Judicial Council forms gave further support to the appellate court’s conclusion, with the costs memo saying no entry under the attorneys fees line item needs to be entered if the fees are fixed without the necessity of court intervention (but obviously not in contested cases requiring a court decision on fees).
This resulted in a reversal of a lower court fee denial based on the absence of a costs memo.