339. The legal costs of a case comprise court costs and fees, including disbursements incurred for the physical preparation of appeal briefs and memorandums, professional fees and expenses for the service or notification of pleadings and documents, witness indemnities and allowances as well as any expert fees, interpreter fees and fees for registration in the land register or the register of personal and movable real rights. They may also include the costs related to taking and transcribing testimony filed in the court record, if that was necessary.
Expert fees include the costs related to the drafting of the report and, if applicable, preparing testimony, and remuneration for the time spent testifying and, to the extent useful, attending the trial.
A party to a proceeding may, given their financial situation, apply to be exempted from paying the costs prescribed for each hearing day required to try the merits of a case. Such an exemption is exceptionally granted by the court, in whole or in part, taking into account any appropriate factor, including such factors as may be specified by government regulation, if it is shown to the court that paying those costs would result, for that party, in difficulties so excessive that the party would not be able to effectively conduct its case.
An application for such an exemption may be made at any time during the proceeding. It suspends the obligation to pay the costs concerned until the court rules on the application. The decision of the court cannot be appealed. The court may, however, even on its own initiative, revoke an exemption it has granted or review its decision to refuse an exemption if a significant change in the party’s financial situation justifies doing so.
The court may not, however, grant such an exemption if it is related to a judicial application or pleading by the party that is clearly unfounded, frivolous or intended to delay or is otherwise abusive.
2014, c. 1, a. 339; 2015, c. 26, s. 1.