KCM v BTM, 2015 ABQB 502


4.29: Costs consequences of formal offer to settle
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award
10.49: Penalty for contravening rules

Case Summary

In a family law matter dealing with spousal support, division of matrimonial property, pension division, child support arears and Section 7 expenses, the mother, KCM, was successful at Trial. KCM was represented by counsel, and the father, BTM, was self-represented. KCM’s counsel brought an Application for Costs under Rule 10.29(1), based on the general rule that the successful party should be awarded Costs of the litigation. Gates J. stated that Costs in a matrimonial matter should be no different than in a regular civil litigation matter.

Gates J. considered Rule 10.33(2), noting that a Justice had previously directed that this matter proceed to Trial, and that, despite this direction, KCM’s counsel brought additional interim Applications which prolonged the matter and delayed the Trial. Justice Gates commented that Rule 10.49(1)(b) allows the Court to impose a penalty on a party that has interfered with the proper administration of justice; but ultimately did not impose a penalty on KCM or her counsel.

Additionally, Gates J. considered Rule 4.29(1) in light of KCM’s Formal Offer to Settle, which BTM rejected, and acknowledged that KCM may be entitled to double Costs, as KCM received Judgment which was in line with the Formal Offer to Settle. His Lordship considered previous authority which stated that applying this Rule is discretionary, and the Court may consider the unique circumstances of the case. Ultimately, due to the conduct of KCM and her counsel, Gates J. refused to award double Costs to KCM under Rule 4.29(1), and also refused to make a Costs award in favour of KCM under Rule 10.29(1). Each party was responsible for their own Costs at Trial.

View CanLII Details