AED v SRP, 2021 ABQB 567


10.50: Costs imposed on lawyer
13.18: Types of affidavit

Case Summary

This was a family law Application concerning the residential care of two children. The Applicant and Respondent were the children’s parents.

Two procedural issues arose in the context of the Application. The first procedural issue concerned admissibility of Affidavit Evidence relating to the Respondent’s romantic partner, the details of which had been relayed to the Affiant by a third party. The Court noted that, depending on its characterization of the Application, the Evidence might be barred as hearsay by operation of Rule 13.18(3) (which precludes hearsay evidence in the context of an Application that may dispose of all or part of a claim); however, no decision was required on this point as the Evidence was corroborated by the Respondent’s own Affidavit Evidence.

The second procedural issue concerned the Respondent’s request for an award of Costs against the Applicant’s counsel, pursuant to Rule 10.50. The Court refused the Respondent’s request, noting that an award of Costs against a lawyer can be justified only on an exceptional basis, where the lawyer's acts have seriously undermined the authority of the Courts or seriously interfered with the administration of justice. The Court held that counsel’s procedural missteps, which included failures to meet deadlines and filing requirements were “mere mistakes” and did not rise to meet the high bar for an award pursuant to Rule 10.50, which requires “at the very least gross neglect or inaccuracy”.

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