In context of family law disputes, court need not find special circumstances to make costs award approaching substantial indemnity

Ontario civil | Family Law

Costs

In context of family law disputes, court need not find special circumstances to make costs award approaching substantial indemnity

After mother made false allegations that father had abused child, parties entered into custody agreement that was incorporated into consent order. Pursuant to agreement, father had custody of child and mother had supervised access. Agreement stipulated that if mother initiated confrontations or made comments pertaining to allegations of abuse, her access shall be suspended immediately at option of father. Agreement stipulated that father shall not relocate without first giving mother sixty days’ notice, and that father shall make best efforts to keep child in her current school. Father gave notice to mother that he intended to move with child on basis that it was better for child to grow up in community not privy to abuse allegations. Motion judge found that order did not contemplate move in question absent variation, and that there was no material change in circumstances to justify such variation. Motion judge made costs award on substantial indemnity basis and included costs in respect of earlier steps in proceeding. Father appealed motion judge’s decision, including costs disposition. Appeal dismissed. Costs for earlier appearances were properly before motion judge, having been adjourned from those appearances. Award of substantial indemnity costs by motion judge was not improper exercise of discretion. In context of family law disputes, court need not find special circumstances to make costs award approaching substantial indemnity.
Forrester v. Dennis (Mar. 16, 2016, Ont. C.A., Gloria Epstein J.A., S.E. Pepall J. J.A., and C.W. Hourigan J.A., CA C61051) 265 A.C.W.S. (3d) 154.

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