Applying for a costs assessment
Getting costs assessed
If costs are to be assessed, the successful party must serve a Form 60A - Costs statement on the other party (an itemised account of the fees and disbursements reasonably incurred in the proceeding).
Objecting to the costs statement
If the served party objects to any item in the costs statement, they must serve the successful party with a Form 61 – Notice of objection within 21 days of being served.
Each objection should be numbered, refer to the item in the costs statement that they object to, show the amount they think the item should be reduced by, and clearly state the reasons, or issues of law or fact, that form the basis of the objection.
Applying for the assessment
To apply for a costs assessment:
- if the order was made in the Supreme, District or Magistrates Court, either party files Form 9 – Application in the registry of the court that made the cost order or judgment
- if the order was made in another court or tribunal and their Act or rules require an application to the Supreme Court, the party files Form 5 – Originating application in the Supreme Court registry.
- select an approved costs assessor from the register of approved cost assessors .
If a notice of objection has been served, the application must include:
- the costs statement
- the notice of objection (if one has been served)
- if applicable, the nominated costs assessor’s consent to appointment and confirmation of no conflict of interest
- if the parties agree on the appointment of a costs assessor, Form 59A – Request for consent order of registrar and two copies of Form 59 – draft order appointing the assessor.
You must serve a copy of the application and supporting material (other than the costs statement and notice of objection) on the other party or their legal representative within seven days of filing the application.
If a notice of objection has not been served, the application (for a ‘default assessment’) must be accompanied by:
- the costs statement
- Form 46 - Affidavit of service of the costs statement
- if applicable, the nominated costs assessor’s consent to appointment and confirmation of no conflict of interest.
In this case, you don’t have to serve a copy of the application and supporting material on the other party or their legal representative. Read more about default assessments. <link to Getting a costs assessment>
The court will then determine the application and advise parties of the outcome.
There are no filing fees for a Form 9 – Application to have costs assessed if a file already exists in the registry.
Costs assessor fees
The costs assessor will charge a fee. The fees charged by approved cost assessors are contained in the register of approved cost assessors . The party that pays these costs depends on the individual situation and outcome. Usually, the fee is included as a disbursement in the amount of costs assessed by the assessor.
If a party asks the assessor to provide written reasons following the assessment, the cost assessor is entitled to charge a fee. The requesting party pays the preparation costs. These costs are included in the party’s costs in any subsequent review.
Note: Usually the costs recoverable from the other litigant will not compensate the successful litigant for all legal fees.