STEPANIK v TIMMONS, 2021 ABQB 287
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
4.22: Considerations for security for costs order
4.23: Contents of security for costs order
This was an Application for Security for Costs, pursuant to Rules 4.22 and 4.23, arising in the context of a family and child custody dispute. The Application followed from the Respondent’s declaration that he intended to bring ten to twelve witnesses in support of his position at Trial, the anticipated effect of which would be to extend the hearing by 8 days.
In assessing the Application, the Court noted the interplay between Rules 4.22, 4.23 and 1.2, and the requirement that Courts exercise their discretion to award or not to award Security for Costs with a view to balancing the reasonable expectations of both parties and promoting fairness and justice, generally. The Court also noted the uniquely sensitive tact required where such Applications are brought in the context of disputes involving child custody.
Applying the criteria enumerated in Rule 4.22, the Court concluded that the circumstances warranted an award of Security for Costs. In particular, the Court held that the Respondent had a low chance of success in light of the available evidence, would be unable or unwilling to pay a Costs Award granted against him and that the Applicant was unlikely to succeed in enforcing against the Respondent’s assets located in Alberta. Finally, the Court held that granting an award of Security for Costs was unlikely to unduly prejudice the Respondent’s participation, given his failure to adduce specific evidence as to his financial circumstances and his unwillingness to limit the number of witnesses to be brought at Trial. The Court granted the Application for Security for Costs, along with an Order limiting the number of witnesses to be brought at Trial with a view to reducing the number of Trial days from 10 to 5.View CanLII Details