9.4: Signing judgments and orders
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

The Applicants applied for a Costs Order against the Respondents. This Application arose from previous proceedings when the Court access restriction process, which had been engaged with respect to the Applicants, was terminated. Rooke A.C.J. had previously ordered the parties to provide written submissions to the Court on whether the Applicants should be subject to the Court’s access restriction gatekeeping.

After the parties were asked to provide their written submissions, the Alberta Court of Appeal released its Decision in Jonsson v Lymer, 2020 ABCA 167, which held that the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench only possesses a residual authority to, on its own motion, impose Court access restrictions. As such, Rooke A.C.J. ordered the termination of that previously engaged process. The Applicants sought Costs with respect to that Order pursuant to Rule 10.29(1).

The Court dismissed the Application. His Lordship explained that the Court ended the Court access restriction process due to an intervening Decision of the Court of Appeal. As such, there were no “winners” or “losers” as contemplated by Rule 10.29(1).

Associate Chief Justice Rooke also ruled, in the alternative, that Costs should not be ordered because the parties against whom Costs were being sought were third parties who participated in the Court access restriction process at the Court’s invitation. His Lordship found that this was not a situation which warranted the exercise of the broad authority on Costs provided by Rules 10.31 and 10.33.

Finally, Associate Chief Justice Rooke ordered an elevated punitive and deterrent Costs Award against the Applicants for their conduct in these proceedings and for their continuing and persistent abuse of Court processes. His Lordship also ruled that the Applicants’ approval of the Order granted was dispensed with pursuant to Rule 9.4(2)(c).

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