If you’re in court, whether bringing a case or defending it, you clearly want to win, but the minimum is that you don’t want to be hit with unnecessary court costs.
You’d think that would be obvious to anyone, but it’s surprising how many people behave as if they actually want to be charged. So, for those people, this is how to achieve your aim. For everyone else, this is what to avoid.
Various Ways to Be Charged for Costs
With perhaps one exception, the most likely way of being hit by costs is if you lose your case. The loser in the case will almost certainly have to pay their own costs, and may well be charged for costs from the other side, too. This is a good reason why, if you feel you’re unlikely to win your case, it’s often better to come to an arrangement out of court.
However, there are also things you can do in court that will make your position worse than merely losing. For example, the court is likely to penalise you if it feels you’ve brought a hopeless case, or if you’ve conducted your litigation in an unfair an unreasonable manner.
Besides conducting your case correctly, you’re also expected to obey any court order you’re given. Failure to do so is likely to mean you’ll be charged court costs.
The Best Way to Be Charged for Costs
Even more obvious than losing your case, though, the surest way of all to be charged for court costs is not to turn up for the hearing. The likelihood is that the court will consider your failure as evidence that you’re not taking the case seriously.
A recent case illustrated this, where two Directors of a company were involved as respondents. The day before the trial, a report was received as to the capacity of one of the Directors to appear. However, on the day, neither Director either appeared or sent a representative.
In spite of the report, the court decided that this behaviour was “out of the norm” — essentially, unacceptable. The trial was adjourned, and the Directors were charged indemnity costs.
Don’t Get Hit with Court Charges
All this might seem frightening, but all it really takes is a bit of common sense to minimise your chances of getting hit with court charges. Be certain you either turn up or send representation for all hearings, follow any instructions from the court and make sure you have a solid case, well presented.
Give me a call if you want to talk over how you ensure that you meet all these requirements.