Dalida Saha v Mark Kininmonth [2016] NZFC 2151

Published 31 July 2016

Costs — Property (Relationships) Act 1976, s 40 — District Courts Rules 2014 — Family Courts Rules 2002, r 207. Security for costs of $10,000 had been ordered in proceedings under the Act which were thereafter discontinued. The issue of costs was reserved. The applicant sought the return of the security for costs, and the respondent sought costs on a 2B basis under the District Courts Rules 2014. Issues related to whether costs should be made, and the appropriate quantum of costs. Section 40 of the Act states that “the Court may make such order as to costs as it thinks fit.” Rule 207 of the FCR states the Court may consider a number of factors in the DCR in exercising that discretion. The Judge accepted that costs in relationship property proceedings were increasingly being dealt with in the manner of ordinary civil proceedings, moving away from the general principle of parties bearing their own costs. The Judge felt it appropriate for costs to be determined irrespective of proceedings that had been filed in the High Court and the issue of unpaid child support payments. After making adjustments to the calculation of costs sought, the Judge ordered payment from the security of costs with the balance being released to the applicant.