As access to justice continues to be a struggle in our province, judges are doing whatever they can to deter vexatious litigants. The recent Court of Appeal decisions of Lakhtakia v. Mehra and Knight v. Knight demonstrate that judges are willing to impose severe financial punishment against offending parties by ordering costs amounts rarely seen before.
With the expanded wording of the Provincial and Federal legislation promoting alternative dispute resolution prior to engaging in litigation, the message from our various levels of government is clear. Fair and reasonable resolution is the goal and litigation is the exception.
While it is an ambitious goal to expect everyone to be able to settle their family law matters outside of court, it is now codified that parties should first attempt to do so. If alternative dispute resolution does not resolve the matter, or cannot occur for a valid reason, be civil and reasonable when attending in court.