Crighton J

10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
SCHEDULE C: Tariff of Recoverable Fees

Case Summary

The Applicant, a prisoner at the Bowden Institution, applied unsuccessfully for habeas corpus following an involuntary transfer from the minimum security Grierson Institution to Bowden Institution, a medium security facility.  The Attorney General sought Costs of the Application based on the presumption under Rule 10.29 that the successful party in a civil proceeding is entitled to their Costs. The Applicant argued that he should not be forced to pay Costs for enforcing his rights, and that he was impecunious.

Crighton J. noted that the default position for the quantum of costs for an application with no monetary value is based on Column 1 of Schedule C, but that section 8 of the Schedule contemplates an enhanced costs award where the subject matter is complex. The Applicant was entirely unsuccessful, and had filed voluminous application materials which were “not particularly well focused”. Further, Justice Crighton found the Application to have been meritless, which raised the concern that the “unrestricted use of habeas corpus by incarcerated individuals risks unwarranted and expensive litigation paid out of the taxpayers’ purse”. The Attorney General was awarded costs of $1,000.

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