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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 11-30-2012, 11:43 AM
Ace Ace is offline
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Default making cost submission -self repd what do I include

Finally after 16 months since my application I was able to vary child support order that was badly out of touch with reality. I was able to show that I paid the court ordered $300,000 in transfers and that I was not in contempt as she claimed. I was 90-95% successful in my 4.5 day trial.

Can you kindly give me advice on what I should claim as court costs. Since I was self repd the obvious is couriour cost, gas to drive 4 hrs to court, meals, print shops etc. My biggest cost was my time. I have suffered from severe litigation fatigue learning about different docs, completing case conf briefs, settlement conf briefs, motion materials etc. This has surely affected my attempts to reaquire meaningful employment.

Over the last 7.5 yrs I have lost all that I own (almost), have been allienated from my children and try hard to keep looking at the bright side. The courts have not been kind to me but some judges are seeing the injustices and seem almost appoligetic as they clearly see the advantages taken by the former wife.

Do you think the judge would consider a credit to FRO instead of asking the mother of my kids to pay me directly. Actually she has had no qualms about asking for and demanding excessive costs. I paid costs in previous court decisions to the tune of over $50,000 combined. She previously had a crafty lawyer. Crafty is the nicest word I could come up with.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:14 PM
FightingForFamily FightingForFamily is offline
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You need to track your time properly and could be entitled to a wage of $100 per hour for the time you spent on the legal aspects of your case. But be prepared to show details of how much time was spent on different activities during which months.

Case law to support the wage is: CanLII - 2011 ONSC 7476 (CanLII)

You can ask for the costs to be enforced through FRO. I don't know if the judge will agree or not.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:05 PM
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This was a long road
Aug 2011 Application to vary child support and acknowledge transfers made to get credit with FRO.
Oct Case conf Sarnia
Jan 2012 Settlement conf Sarnia
Jan 24 2012 Motion to move to Kitchener by x wife - Granted
Apr New Case conf
Apr motions court she claims I am in contempt trying to block application to vary
May further motion of contempt for me not signing over life ins policy
June case conf day 1
June 29 Case conf #2
Trial Oct 1,2,3, 5 and 29th
Endorsement Nov 19 Essentially won all issues ~90% win
costs due Dec 20

So if I was to produce a time log for each step like a lawyer does this would please the judge? I am currently unemployed but if it was not for the constant legal issues I might have time and energy for work. I was thinking of asking for min wage for the hours spent but I should make ~$50 in my past career as a sales rep. Maybe middle of the road at ~$25/hr. Sound reasonable?
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:09 PM
FightingForFamily FightingForFamily is offline
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There is case law for any amount from $35/hour up to $200/hour.

However you need to demonstrate that the time spent and tasks done are comparable to what a lawyer would be doing as opposed to the normal activities you would still be doing as a represented litigant.

But yes, have a point by point detailed "billing" like a lawyer does and be prepared to explain why you should be paid in a similar manner to a lawyer.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:54 PM
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I would think if you were successful in your costs application you would be expected to claim it as income and be taxed appropriately would you not? On the other hand if your legal costs were to defend SS or CS it would also be tax deductible. If anyone is familiar with this area it would be interesting to learn how a person would handle it come tax time.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:55 PM
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CanLII - 2011 ONSC 7476 (CanLII)

Self rep, costs award, how to calculate your costs and what a court will consider.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
CanLII - 2011 ONSC 7476 (CanLII)

Self rep, costs award, how to calculate your costs and what a court will consider.
And quoting from the case (my bold):

" The emerging issue of costs claimed by self-represented litigants has been dealt with extensively in recent years, perhaps most comprehensively by Justice D. G. Price in Jahn-Cartwright v. Cartwright 2010 91 R.F.L. (6th) 301 (Ont. S.C.J.) and Cassidy v. Cassidy 2011 92 R.F.L. (6th) 120 (Ont. S.C.J.).
39. Justice Price made the following observations of the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Fong v. Chan [1999] O.J. No. 4600:
a. The Court of Appeal confirmed a self-represented litigant’s entitlement to costs.
b. The Court gave some guidance on the method of quantifying those costs, but did not elaborate as to the methodology to be used.
c. Self-represented litigants are not entitled to costs calculated on the same basis as litigants who retain counsel.
d. The self-represented litigant should not recover costs for the time and effort that any litigant would have to devote to the case.
e. Costs should only be awarded to those lay litigants who can demonstrate they devoted time and effort to do the work ordinarily done by a lawyer retained to conduct the litigation.
f. The trial judge is particularly well-placed to assess the appropriate allowance, if any, for a self-represented litigant.
40. In Jahn-Cartwright and Cassidy, Justice Price expanded the analysis:
a. The entitlement to costs and the appropriate amount to be paid is within the court’s discretion.
b. Rule 24(1) of the Family Law Rules creates a presumption of costs in favour of the successful party.
c. In setting the amount of costs, the court must try to indemnify the successful party while avoiding an overly onerous costs burden for the unsuccessful party which would jeopardize access to justice.
d. For many years indemnification of a successful party was considered the only objective, and this was held to preclude an award of costs to a successful self-represented litigant who had not paid fees for which they needed to be indemnified. But while indemnification remains a paramount consideration in awarding costs, it is not the only one.
e. In both Fong v. Chan and more recently in Serra v. Serra 2009 ONCA 395 (CanLII), 2009 ONCA 395, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that costs rules are designed to foster three important principles:
1. To partially indemnify successful litigants for the cost of litigation;

2. To encourage settlement; and

3. To discourage and sanction inappropriate behaviour by litigants.


f. Access to justice has been recognized as a further objective that the court should seek to achieve when awarding costs. (1465778 Ontario Inc. V. 1122077 Ontario Ltd, 2006 CanLII 35819 (ON CA), 2006 CanLII 35819, (2006) 82 O.R. (3d) 757 (Ont. C.A.)).
g. A party with counsel, opposite an unrepresented litigant, should not perceive that they are immune from a costs award merely because such opposite party is unrepresented. They should be discouraged from presuming they will face only nominal costs.
h. The right of a self-represented litigant to recover costs is not automatic. Quantification of those costs may be difficult. But without the option of awarding meaningful costs to self-represented litigants, the court’s ability to encourage settlements and discourage inappropriate behaviour will be greatly diminished.
i. Determination of costs for self-represented litigants should take into account all of the objectives which costs orders should promote. Rules 18 and 24 of the Family Law Rules apply. Otherwise the resulting amount can render the entitlement to costs illusory; undermine access to justice by self-represented litigants; and frustrate the administration of justice.
j. If a self-represented litigant, in performing the tasks that would normally have been performed by a lawyer, lost the opportunity to earn income elsewhere, this may be a relevant factor. But costs for self-represented parties are not the same as damages for lost income. Remunerative loss is not a “condition precedent” to an award of costs. To require proof of lost income would disqualify litigants who are homemakers, retirees, students, unemployed, unemployable, and disabled; and deprive courts of a tool required re administration of justice. "
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:11 PM
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Default disbursments

In the CANLII 7476 cited here the judge agreed that gas, parking and serving materials was inappropriate to request.
I was told that I must begin the application in my jurisdiction (Sarnia). Respondent mother made a motion to have it moved to Kitchener. It was granted hence I drove 2 hrs each way each time (about 15-20 trips).
I think it is a reasonable request. Why did the judge discount this in that case?
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:51 PM
FightingForFamily FightingForFamily is offline
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Because if you had a lawyer you would still need to make this trip and pay the exact same amount in gas/time/effort.

Thus driving to/from court for motions (even out of your city) is not exceptional lawyer-like work to be compensated.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:17 PM
cynthia10 cynthia10 is offline
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someone posted a free trial of a cost calculator here on this forum the other day sorry I dont know who but do a search ?
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