Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Costs in the Cause Definition:

The general rule in the law of costs that the ultimate victor at trial may get his or her costs against the loser and including all interlocutory applications.

Related Terms: Costs, Party and Party Costs, Costs in any Event of the Cause, Costs Follow The Event

In Storr v. Aklavik, Justice Richard of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court wrote:

"The phrase costs in the cause is often used and means that the costs of the interlocutory proceeding are to abide by the result of the eventual trial. Costs in the cause is not an order which finally disposes of those costs -- it is subject to the final discretion of the trial judge.

"An award of costs of an interlocutory proceeding to a named party in the cause; e.g., "costs to the plaintiff in the cause" means that only if the party in whose favour the order is made is later awarded the costs of the action will that party be entitled to the costs of the interlocutory proceeding in question. That party's opponent is not entitled to the costs of the interlocutory proceeding even if at trial it obtains an order for the costs of the action."

In the Law of Costs, the author writes:

"[C]osts in the cause ... is synonymous with costs in the action and costs to the successful party in the cause. All such expressions mean that the costs of the proceeding to which they refer are to abide the result of the trial and to go to the party who is there successful with respect to costs."


  • Duhaime, Lloyd, The Law of Costs
  • Orkin, Mark, The Law of Costs, 2nd Ed. (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 2010).
  • Storr v. Aklavik, [1998] N.W.T.J. No. 173

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