Absent bad faith or improper purpose, conduct did not support finding of abuse of process

Civil Practice and Procedure - Costs - Persons entitled to or liable for costs

Father suffered catastrophic brain injury in 2011 and sons were appointed guardians of personal care and property. Father entered into marriage with KW days after being released from hospital, and on sons' application marriage was declared void ab initio and father was found to be sole owner of property. Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) funded KW's litigation, and court found KW's claims to be without merit. Costs were assessed at $385,279.54 on full recovery basis. Application judge found that LAO knew father was vulnerable person and failed to properly monitor proceedings which constituted abuse of process. LAO was ordered to pay $192,639.77, which was 50 percent of full indemnity costs. Application judge refused to reopen evidence and vary costs award. LAO appealed. Appeal allowed. Application judge misconstrued role of LAO. Absent evidence of bad faith or improper purpose, LAO's conduct in funding litigation pursuant to statute did not support finding of abuse of process. Finding of abuse of process was not available on evidence. Findings against LAO were inconsistent with findings in favour of LAO funded lawyer. Costs order was set aside.

Hunt v. Worrod (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 10241, 2019 ONCA 540, Robert J. Sharpe J.A., S.E. Pepall J.A., and L.B. Roberts J.A. (Ont. C.A.); varied (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 6265, 2018 ONSC 2133, Koke J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 8652, 2018 ONSC 3093, Koke J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

Case Law is a weekly summary of notable civil and criminal court decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and all Ontario courts. These cases may be found online in WestlawNext Canada. To subscribe, please visit store.thomsonreuters.ca

Free newsletter

Our newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

LSO Convocation approves license proposal for non-lawyer family legal services providers

Recent ruling a 'cautionary tale' for start-ups, says IP lawyer

OCA refuses to extend intrusion upon seclusion liability to hacked commercial database holders

Law Society of Ontario extends virtual verification until January 2024

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds summary judgment in seller's favour after buyer fails to close

Heather Johnston joins Law Foundation of Ontario's board of trustees

Most Read Articles

Seven new judges join Ontario Court of Justice

LSO and federation push Metrolinx to find alternative to new subway station on Osgoode Hall property

LSO Convocation approves license proposal for non-lawyer family legal services providers

OCA refuses to extend intrusion upon seclusion liability to hacked commercial database holders