6.14: Appeal from master’s judgment or order
7.2: Application for judgment
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
10.30: When costs award may be made
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

The Applicant sought an Order for Summary Judgment pursuant to Rules 7.2 and 7.3. The Order was granted by a Master, but the Master fixed an amount of costs to be awarded to the Applicant, despite the Applicant’s request for costs on a solicitor-client basis. The Master’s Order also omitted a declaration that the Respondent owed interest to the Applicant. The Applicant appealed the Master’s decision pursuant to Rule 6.14, and asked the Court to consider the Application afresh, without any deference to the Master’s decision.

Justice Harris confirmed that Rule 6.14(3), the standard of review of a Master’s decision is correctness on issues of fact and law. Further, the parties are entitled to file additional evidence. Justice Harris confirmed that the Judge hearing the appeal from a Master’s decision is entitled to conduct a de novo analysis of the issues, reviewing all relevant and material evidence. Deference to the Master’s decision is not required.

Justice Harris granted the Applicant Summary Judgment against the Respondent for amounts owing. In respect of Rules 7.2 and 7.3, Justice Harris held that the key issue in a Summary Judgment Application is whether there is no genuine issue requiring trial, such that the Court is able to reach a fair and just determination on the merits. Justice Harris held that there was no question that the Applicant was entitled to the amounts owed plus interest. There was no evidence of a waiver of interest.

In respect of costs, Justice Harris confirmed that Rule 10.30 grants the Court authority to make a costs award in respect of an Application, and that a Court must exercise its discretion judicially and in line with the facts listed in Rule 10.33. Justice Harris declined to award costs on a solicitor-client basis. Relying on the factors in Rule 10.33, Justice Harris noted the mixed degree of success of each party, the comparatively small amounts claimed, the lower importance of the case, the lack of complexity, and the absence of delay caused by either of the parties; Her Ladyship ruled that each party would bear its own costs.

View CanLII Details