ROCKY, 2021 ABQB 930


10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

The Respondent was an elected councillor for the Applicant municipal district. The Applicant brought two Applications to have the Respondent disqualified from her elected office. The parties could not agree on costs after the Court dismissed both Applications; the Court, therefore, had to determine the appropriate costs award.

The Court noted that the successful party is normally entitled to costs. The Court also noted that costs are highly discretionary and subject to a principled application of the factors set out in Rule 10.33. The Court awarded enhanced costs because:

  • The Applications were complex and more akin to a three-day trial than a half-day Application;
  • The Applicant’s fees were paid by the public while the Respondent was left to defend her office and livelihood from personal funds;
  • The Applications were driven in whole or in part by improper political motivations; and
  • The Applicant did not treat the Respondent fairly or provide her with the appropriate due process.

In the result, the Court awarded the Respondent lump sum costs pursuant to Rule 10.31(1)(b)(ii) in the amount of $40,000 in costs inclusive of disbursements, GST and costs submissions.

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