Cost of Productions

Who pays for the cost of producing documents?

In Veillette v. Piazza Family Trust, 2012 ONSC 4782 (S.C.J.), the plaintiffs brought a motion to compel the defendant to answer undertakings and refusals he gave on an examination in aid of execution.  The defendant took the position that the plaintiffs must pay any charges for obtaining the documents.

The Court cited two cases dealing with production of documents before trial, Ho v. O’Young-Lui, 2002 CanLII 6346 (ON SC), and Traverse v. Turnbull, [1996] N.S.J. No. 212 N.S.C.A. which held that the general rule is the party in possession or control of the documents is to produce them at their expense, although the court has residual discretion to depart from that rule where fairness and justice so require.  The general rule may be altered if its application would prevent a party from presenting its case.  Justice Kane held that there was no reason to depart from the general rule.

Although this case deals with an examination in aid of execution, disagreement over who pays for documents can often arise in the context of examination for discovery.  The Veillette case is useful in providing a succinct argument as to why plaintiffs should bear the cost of producing their documents.

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