Rule 77.06 – Assessment of costs under tariff at end of proceeding
The parties, engaged in divorce proceedings, appeared for a five-day hearing to determine changes to an interim custody order. The respondent wife was awarded sole custody of the parties' four children. Although she stated that her actual costs were over $30,000, she requested costs of $16,745, inclusive of disbursements, payable forthwith. The applicant claimed impecuniosity. Held, costs awarded in the amount requested by the respondent: $8,000 payable forthwith; $8,745 payable when divorce proceedings concluded. The applicant significantly and unnecessarily prolonged the hearing by advancing issues previously determined by the court. Tariff A was appropriate, given the length of the hearing. The respondent could have argued that the amount involved was $100,000, based on the rule of thumb that equates each day of trial to an amount of $20,000. Doing so would have generated base costs of $12,250 under Scale 2, plus an additional $2,000 per day, for a total of $22,250. The respondent's claimed costs of $16,745 were reasonable. The court observed that granting the applicant immunity from costs would be contrary to the interests of justice, given the vortex of litigation resulting from the parties' marital breakdown. However, requiring full payment forthwith might materially affect the applicant's ability to pursue the cognitive behavioural therapy ordered by the court.