1.4: Procedural orders
9.35: Checking calculations: assessment of costs and corrections
10.26: Appeal to judge
10.36: Assessment of bill of costs
10.37: Appointment for assessment
10.38: Assessment officer’s authority
10.41: Assessment officer’s decision

Case Summary

The Plaintiff was unopposed in a foreclosure matter and the Court ordered that Costs be assessed pursuant to Rule 10.37. A Bill of Costs was submitted to an Assessment Officer, and the Assessment Officer requested more information from the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff took issue with the Assessment Officer’s requests, and applied to the Court for direction pursuant to Rule 9.35(4). During the initial assessment of Costs, the Plaintiff argued that the Assessment Officer did not have the authority to reduce the fees claimed on the Bill of Costs because the Defendant was to receive no money for the sale of his house. The Court observed that, under Rule 10.36, the Assessment Officer must only approve the proposed Costs without change if both parties consent. Master Schulz reviewed Rule 10.38 and cautioned that the production of records or information to an Assessment Officer is instrumental to their function, and important for litigation to proceed smoothly and efficiently. The Court also advised that Costs associated with a property manager should not be included as a disbursement in the Bill of Costs, but that the property manager should submit their own Affidavit pursuant to Rule 10.41.

Master Schulz addressed this matter as an Application pursuant to Rule 9.35, since a decision by the Assessment Officer had not been finalized. Master Schulz noted that, if the Assessment Officer had finally decided the issue of Costs, Rule 10.26 would have allowed the Plaintiff to appeal the Assessment before a Justice. Master Schulz stated that if the interpretation of the Rules was incorrect, the Court could nevertheless provide Advice and Directions pursuant to Rule 1.4. Master Schulz ordered the Plaintiff to submit further Affidavit evidence before deciding what level of Costs was appropriate. Master Schulz advised Counsel to provide invoices in Affidavit form so that they would be evidence before the Court should an Appeal under Rule 10.26 be required.

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