Growden v Moreland [2021] NZFC 313

Published 16 September 2021

Costs — increased costs — category 2B basis — further provision from estate — Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949 — Family Protection Act 1955 — Family Court Rules 2002, r 207 — District Court Rules 2014, rr 14.2 & 14.7 — High Court Rules 2016 — Fry v Fry [2015] NZHC 2716. The applicants sought costs against the unsuccessful party in the proceedings. She had failed in her application for provision from the deceased's estate. The applicants sought costs on a category 2B basis in the sum of $6,303.00, or increased costs in the sum of $7,878.75. In favour of increased costs they argued that the unsuccessful party had pursued a claim that wholly lacked merit; failed to accept an offer to resolve matters; failed to provide cogent evidence in support of her case; and had taken an unreasonable position, putting the applicant in a difficult and stressful situation. Pursuant to r 207 of the Family Court Rules, the successful party is entitled to costs. Rule 14.7 of the District Court Rules outlines when a court may refuse to make an order for costs or reduce the costs. The Judge considered that the delay in serving the proceedings was because of the applicants' evidence to the Court; that the applicants' actions had contributed to the filing of the proceedings; and that the applicants would receive financial compensation at the conclusion of the substantive proceedings, whereas the unsuccessful party would receive nothing. No delay was caused by the unsuccessful party. The Judge therefore declined to make an award of costs in favour of the applicants. Judgment Date: 15 January 2021.