Is an order from a court the same things as a judgment? Not necessarily. An order is a direction by the court or judge entered into the record for a variety of matters. Whereas a Judgment is the written final determination/outcome of the lawsuit.
For example, an order may be entered in a dog bite lawsuit to exclude evidence from being presented to the jury. If the Jury finds for the injured plaintiff, then the Judgement would show the outcome of the case in favor of the Plaintiff.
Once a jury decides the Verdict (outcome) of the case, then the prevailing party will prepare and present the proposed judgment to be signed by the court and entered into the record. The losing party may be able to appeal the judgment.
After the judgment has been entered, then the court may award attorney’s fees and expenses to be included as your damages if its prescribed as an element of damages under the law – or upon a motion to the court within 10 days of the entry of judgment.
The rule governing Judgement and costs is Washington Civil Rule 54 which is as follows:
Washington Civil Rule 54: Judgments and Costs
(1) Judgment. A judgment is the final determination of the rights of the parties in the action and includes any decree and order from which an appeal lies. A judgment shall be in writing and signed by the judge and filed forthwith as provided in rule 58.
(2) Order. Every direction of a court or judge, made or entered in writing, not included in a judgment, is denominated an order.
(b) Judgment upon multiple claims or involving multiple parties. When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim, or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination in the judgment, supported by written findings, that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. The findings may be made at the time of entry of judgment or thereafter on the court’s own motion or on motion of any party. In the absence of such findings, determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.
(c) Demand for judgment. A judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment. Except as to a party against whom a judgment is entered by default, every final judgment shall grant the relief to which the party in whose favor it is rendered is entitled, even if the party has not demanded such relief in his pleadings.
(d) Costs, disbursements, attorneys’ fees, and expenses.
(1) Costs and disbursements. Costs and disbursements shall be fixed and allowed as provided in RCW 4.84 or by any other applicable statute. If the party to whom costs are awarded does not file a cost bill or an affidavit detailing disbursements within 10 days after the entry of the judgment, the clerk shall tax costs and disbursements pursuant to CR 78(e).
(2) Attorneys’ fees and expenses. Claims for attorneys’ fees and expenses, other than costs and disbursements, shall be made by motion unless the substantive law governing the action provides for the recovery of such fees and expenses as an element of damages to the proved at trial. Unless otherwise provided by statute or order of the court, the motion must be filed no later than 10 days after entry of judgment.
(e) Preparation of order or judgment. The attorney of record for the prevailing party shall prepare and present a proposed form of order or judgment not later than 15 days after the entry of the verdict or decision, or at any other time as the court may direct. Where the prevailing party is represented by an attorney of record, no order or judgment may be entered for the prevailing party unless presented or approved by the attorney of record. If both the prevailing party and the prevailing party’s attorney of record fail to prepare and present the form of order or judgment within the prescribed time, any other party may do so, without the approval of the attorney of record of the prevailing party upon notice of presentation as provided in subsection (f)(2).
(1) Time. Judgments may be presented at the same time as the findings of fact and conclusions of law under rule 52.
(2) Notice of presentation. No order or judgment shall be signed or entered until opposing counsel have been given 5 days’ notice of presentation and served with a copy of the proposed order or judgment unless:
(A) Emergency. An emergency is shown to exist.
(B) Approval. Opposing counsel has approved in writing the entry of the proposed order or judgment or waived notice of presentation.
(C) After verdict, etc. If presentation is made after entry of verdict or findings and while opposing counsel is in open court.
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