Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
The fees charged for the use of a court, including the initial filing fee, fees for serving the summons, complaint, and other court papers, fees to pay a court reporter to transcribe depositions (pretrial interviews of witnesses) and in-court testimony, and, if a jury is involved, to pay the daily stipend of jurors. Often costs to photocopy court papers and exhibits are also included. Court costs must be paid by both the plaintiff and the defendant as the case progresses. In many types of cases, however, the losing party is held responsible for both parties' costs.