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Ignoring Page Limits Must Have Consequences, Says Judge

When a court orders submissions to be kept to a certain page limit, parties must comply with the order.

In Stewart & Bernard v. Fuhgeh et al., 2020 ONSC 4850, the court ordered the parties to provide costs submissions by specific dates and limited the submissions to three pages plus a detailed Bill of Costs.

The defendant provided his submissions one day late, and he exceeded the three-page limit by filing excerpts from transcripts of conferences totaling 44 additional pages. The defendant subsequently filed more documentation, including outstanding bills and notice of assessments, all without any accompanying submissions.

Justice Shelston stated:

The court process must be transparent and fair to all. Court orders are not suggestions and are intended to be followed. Failure to follow a court order must have implications. In this case, Ms. Bernard and the Intervenors followed the court order. On the other, Mr. Fuhgeh ignored the page limitation when he filed documentation on July 22 and July 27, 2020 that exceeded the three-page limit. This blatant disregard for a court order cannot be condoned by the court. The result is that I will disregard the documentation that exceeded the three-page limit.

Therefore, the court has discretion to disregard submissions that exceed a specified page limit.