10.31: Court-ordered costs award

Case Summary

The Applicant husband was a self-represented litigant seeking Costs for a chambers hearing. The Applicant was successful in setting a hearing date to set the division of his pension in a family law matter, but he was unsuccessful in obtaining a change to his spousal support payments. The Respondent wife argued that Costs were not appropriate for two reasons: first, the Applicant only had mixed success; and second, as a self-represented litigant he was not entitled to legal Costs.

Justice Veit considered Rule 10.31(5) and assessed whether these were “appropriate circumstances” to grant the self-represented Applicant Costs. Veit J., applying recent authority, noted that Costs are meant to achieve other purposes in addition to partial indemnity of fees. The Applicant tried on numerous occasions to settle with the Respondent, but the Respondent resisted settlement throughout. The Applicant was, therefore, a self-represented litigant deserving of a Costs Award. Her Ladyship also concluded that the Applicant was substantially successful in his Chambers Application and awarded him Costs.

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