LANE v LANE, 2012 ABQB 21


10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs

Case Summary

This Costs Application followed a three-day viva voce Special Hearing relating to spousal support.

To interpret Rule 10.29(1), Sullivan J. referred to Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation v Canadian Commercial Bank, [1989] AJ No 29, which summarizes the general Costs rule in the following way: in the absence of special circumstances, the successful party is entitled to Costs. Canada Deposit highlighted four exceptions to this general rule: (1) misconduct of the parties (2) miscarriage in the procedure; (3) oppressive and vexatious conduct of proceedings; and (4) novelty or uncertainty of the issue to be decided. The Court referred to case law specifying that although the Court has discretion with respect to Costs, the discretion is not arbitrary; it must be exercised judicially and there must always be some reason to deprive a successful litigant of Costs. His Lordship indicated that a Court’s discretion to deprive a successful litigant of costs is a discretion that must be exercised judicially and upon proper material connected with the case, or having relation to the subject-matter of the Action.

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