Mother sought level of restrictions that was excessive

Family Law - Costs - In family law proceedings generally

When father, who was already seeking to change access order, was criminally charged with sexual offences involving children, mother refused to permit any access to child and rejected all proposed supervisors including father’s wife. Father brought motion for mother to be held in contempt and to seek access changes in light of charges; mother brought motion for publication ban, sealing order, and permission to view bail transcript to understand factual underpinnings of charges. Mother’s motion was granted in part, to order publication ban and transcript viewing; father’s contempt motion was withdrawn; father’s access motion was granted. Costs submissions received. No costs awarded. Neither party could be regarded as successful on issues of publication ban and sealing order since, despite both parties’ consent, they required determination by court given importance of open court principle. It was not appropriate for father to have brought his eventually-withdrawn contempt motion since his motion to change access effectively conceded that existing access order could not be reasonably followed after he was charged criminally. Mother was put to expense and time of preparing responding materials on contempt issue. While mother’s initial concerns were valid, her position on access after viewing bail transcript, was not reasonable as she was sought level of restrictions that was excessive and rejected numerous proposed supervisors without suggesting alternate ones other than agency. Father’s wife had been approved by two child protection agencies as supervisor and there had been no prior difficulties with father’s access. It was fair and reasonable for parties to bear own costs of motions.

M.M. v. N.M. (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 3182, 2019 ONSC 116, L. Madsen J., In Chambers (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 22962, 2018 ONSC 6994, L. Madsen J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 22963, 2018 ONSC 6939, L. Madsen Member (Ont. S.C.J.).

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