10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.31: Court-ordered costs award

Case Summary

This Decision stemmed from a Special Chambers Application in the context of a family law matter addressing, among other things, the Costs associated with the Special Chambers Application. The Court applied Rule 10.29 as a general rule, which presumes that the successful party is entitled to Costs. In this case, the Defendant was successful on the main issue, while the Plaintiff was successful on some minor issues. Although the Plaintiff raised some concerns regarding a delayed filing and certain irregularities in the materials filed by the Defendant, the Court found that they were minor and did not preclude the Defendant's entitlement to Costs.

To determine an appropriate Cost Award, the Court considered the factors listed in Rule 10.31 and conducted an inquiry into setting reasonable and proper Costs. The Defendant sought enhanced Costs of $6,000, but also referred to double Costs under Column 2 of $3,370. Justice Renke referred to McAllister v Calgary (City), 2021 ABCA 25 to consider partial indemnity, but noted that he did not have a draft Bill of Costs to make this inquiry. The Court considered Schedule C, noting that a Special Chambers Application is not a "high volume-interlocutory matter" like a morning Chambers Application that is heard in 20 minutes on a crowded docket. Justice Renke observed that neither principle nor case law restrict family law matters to Column 1 of Schedule C. The Court took into account the Defendant's success on a crucial issue and awarded double Costs due to the presentation of a settlement offer and the ample room and opportunity for pre-Application resolution. Justice Renke reduced the Costs Award by $500 due to the Defendant's late filing and irregularities.

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