Application for costs against the Crown by accused’s trial counsel. Following acquittal at trial, Crown brought a summary conviction appeal. Crown attempted to serve trial counsel with the Notice of Appeal, who refused service as she was no longer retained. Crown brought ex-parte order for substitutional service, which led to a hearing to set aside the order and determine whether trial counsel are obliged to accept notices of appeal in summary conviction matters.

Held: Costs granted.

A costs award against the Crown is exceptional in criminal cases: Griffin, 2011 ABCA 197. No Crown misconduct found. However, costs were appropriate in this exceptional case on a public interest basis as per Garcia, 2005 CanLII 4831 (Ont CA). “In sum, the public interest in the legal question involved in the application was high; the Crown precipitated the Applicant’s participation in the application proceedings by its actions, and the application had little or no significance personally to the Applicant or Legal Aid Alberta”.

D. Boisvert – Defence Counsel