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QLD Who Pays Additional Costs After Court Judgement?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by SOccasions, 30 April 2015.

  1. SOccasions

    SOccasions Member

    30 April 2015
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    I am a small business. I had a client who hired my business but refused to pay the bill - the matter proceeded through the courts, judgement was passed in our favour as the client chose to never attend any of the court sessions. There was a warrant out for her to make an appearance in court and still never appeared. We have never claimed interest (but am tempted to), and it has taken 4 years to track her down but we did. We served her papers a number of times through a bailiff service and through mail (approved by the court) however she never responded or accepted the papers from the bailiff. Our only option was to engage a debt collection agency. The debt collectors acted on our behalf and retrieved the amount as ordered by the court.

    However, my question is should she also be liable for the costs after the order, which should be refunded to us as we have made payment for these actions? Ie to return to court (to get permission to serve the documents via mail) and also the expenses we incurred for numerous bailiff fees and the costs for the debt collection agency? She has since sent us a 'notice of discontinuance', demanding that we sign to clear her credit rating - is this also a cost that we will have to foot?
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
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    Hi SOccsions,

    I notice your question was asked some months ago. How are you going? Has there been any updates on your matter?

    To answer your question, apart from the order for actual damages (which would be the principal debt plus any interest you're claiming), the court will also make orders as to costs. These costs refer to any legal expenses and other costs paid to get the judgment. Usually, the party who loses will pay the costs of the winning side. You can send the losing side an itemised bill that breaks down your costs for the other side to pay. They can dispute the bill (e.g. claim that some of the costs are unreasonably incurred or unreasonably high). If it is disputed, it will go to a "taxation hearing" where a taxing master will go through each item of the disputed costs and compare them to the court's current version of cost breakdown (the court will have a taxing sheet that states what is a "reasonable" price for specific expenses which gets updated from year to year). Each party will also incur costs for the taxation hearing which will be either shared or awarded to someone. The taxing master will determine this. Generally, the winning party can get back 2/3 of its actual costs.
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