What is the usual manner for seeking costs orders for court judgments, and can it be done after the fact if another party had acted unreasonably yet one was unaware that costs orders could be possible in the circumstances of the case?

If so what is the procedure for seeking costs after a matter has seemingly otherwise been finalised? Can it be done via a separate new claim?

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    Its generally your responsibility to know what you can ask for and to ask for it at the right time; once the judgement is given the case is closed. If this was a Small Claim then the rules are generally looser and are likely to be "whatever the Judge thinks is reasonable under the circumstances". You could try putting in a claim; we can't advise here on how likely it would be to succeed. Sep 11 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


What is the usual manner for seeking costs orders for court judgments?

The usual manner is to ask for costs as part of the initiating pleading.

and can it be done after the fact... ?

As long as the court continues to have jurisdiction, usually until the court has issued its final judgment on the matter.

The rule at common law is that after the final order from the court on a matter, it is considered functus officio and without jurisdiction to do more.

Some provinces have provided a statutory/regulatory exception for costs orders after the final judgment on the substantive issues, where the final judgment was silent on costs. See e.g. Alberta Rules of Court, Alta Reg 124/2010, s. 10.30(1)(c) and its discussion in Kent v MacDonald, 2021 ABQB 953, at para. 27 and onward:

The decisions that rely upon Rule 10.30 as an exception to the functus principle when it comes to costs, deal with facts in which the court had not made any determination on costs in the initial decision. Rule 10.30 allows the Court to assess costs and issue an award after a decision is made; it does not allow for costs to be revisited repeatedly or varied.

Procedure will be based on the rules of the particular court, but normally, this would be by way of application or motion (to the judge who was seized of the case) through the ordinary manner of filing/serving/etc.

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