JC v KC, 2023 ABKB 96


10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award
10.34: Court-ordered assessment of costs
12.61: Appeal from Provincial Court order to Court of Queen’s Bench

Case Summary

The Appellants had appealed an Order of the Provincial Court pursuant to Rule 12.61. The Appeal was dismissed, and the Parties now sought direction regarding Costs.

The Respondent was self-represented but had retained legal counsel for assistance with written materials. The Respondent’s child was also subject to the Order under Appeal, and was represented by counsel.

The Court referred to Rule 10.29(1), which sets out the general rule that a successful Party is entitled to Costs. The Court also set out Rule 10.33, which lists factors that may guide the Court’s discretion in making a Costs Award. Justice Marion observed that Rule 10.31 provides the Court with significant discretion in the implementation of a Costs Award.

The Court held that the Respondent was entitled to Costs and that the cases dealing with Costs Awards for self-represented litigants did not apply to these circumstances. The Court declined to award Costs in favour of the Respondent’s child, and instead dealt with the Respondent’s share of those legal fees as part of the Respondent’s Costs Award.

The Court turned to a consideration of the factors listed under Rule 10.33. Primarily based on the manner in which the Applicant’s conduct negatively affected the proceedings, the Court ordered that: (1) the Respondent was entitled to 40% of her actual legal costs and 100% of her disbursements; and (2) the Respondent was entitled to 100% of her share of legal fees paid to the child’s counsel. The Court ordered that if the Parties were unable to agree on the quantum of these amounts, then such quantum would be assessed by an Assessment Officer pursuant to Rule 10.34.

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