BUN v SENG, 2015 ABCA 165

Picard JA

14.5: Appeals only with permission

Case Summary

The self-represented Plaintiff, Bun, commenced a Claim that alleged irregularities in the financial records of the Defendant, the Cambodian Canadian Friendship Society of Edmonton and Areas, and requested further information. The Plaintiff was not satisfied by the materials he received and sought the assistance of the Court. A Case Management meeting was scheduled, but the Plaintiff did not file an Application or a supporting Affidavit in advance of the Case Management meeting and the Case Management Justice ordered him to pay the Costs of the appearance. The Plaintiff sought to appeal the Costs awarded against him.

Justice Picard observed that Rule 14.5(1)(e) requires a party to obtain permission to appeal a Decision as to Costs only. The case law is clear that permission to appeal Costs Orders should be granted sparingly, and the party seeking permission to appeal such an award must meet a high threshold. The Court of Appeal has held that it is appropriate to rely on the test for permission to appeal a Costs award that was established under the former appellate Rules. That test requires an Applicant to demonstrate: (i) a good arguable case having sufficient merit to warrant scrutiny by this Court; (ii) issues of importance to the parties and in general; (iii) that the Costs Appeal has practical utility; and (iv) no delay in proceedings caused by the Costs Appeal.

Given the high degree of deference owed to Costs awards and the facts of the case, the Plaintiff had not demonstrated a good arguable case of sufficient merit and the first step of the test was not satisfied. The Plaintiff did not demonstrate any general importance, and the Appeal would not have had any practical utility because no issues were raised that would allow the Court of Appeal to provide direction on the law with respect to Costs. Picard J.A. declined to grant permission to Appeal.

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