A Calgary-based judge has turned down a former Gull Lake man’s bid to escape legal costs exceeding $300,000.
Dale Andrew Mather, 63, and his son, Kayle, were ordered to pay legal costs incurred by the Summer Village of Gull Lake in a legal dispute over work they performed on the shore in front of their adjoining properties during the summer of 2009.
The elder Mather was also fined $20,000 in March 2013 for altering the waterfront in contravention of the Alberta Water Act.
In the latest round, the Mathers had asked the Alberta Court of Appeal to restore an earlier appeal and sought leave to file a new appeal with an extension in the time allowed to file that appeal.
Their most recent application relates to an earlier decision by a judge in chambers concerning a civil action between the summer village and the Mathers.
In a written decision released on Friday, Calgary-based Justice Peter Martin dismisses the appeal and chastises the Mathers for what he termed “a highly litigious course of conduct” in response to the summer village’s attempt to hold them to the terms of their permit.
“Rather than comply with the respondent’s directions to restore the properties, which may have cost $20,000 to $25,0000 at most, the (Mathers) chose to contest the order and are now required to pay the respondent’s full legal costs, from the date of the first stop-work order,” writes Martin.
He goes on to say that he was originally concerned about the high costs awarded by the judge who heard the lawsuit.
However, “I am reminded that these costs were incurred due to a course of conduct taken by (the Mathers),” writes Martin.
“Furthermore, the applicants persisted in this course of conduct long after the foolishness of doing so, and consequential financial exposure, must, or at least should, have been obvious to them.”
Martin included comments from the chambers judge, who charged Dale Mather with “bad conduct,” including unjustifiably accusing the summer village of a conspiracy or vendetta against him as well has falsifying or hiding records.
The chambers judge said Mather continued to make those claims but failed to prove them.
Martin also dismissed Kayle Mather’s application to have his name deleted from the judgment in which costs were awarded to the summer village.
Neither Dale nor Kayle Mather could be reached for comment.
Dale Andrew Mather is not to be confused with Innisfail resident Dale Peter Mather, retired chief administrative officer for the town.