What are costs?
- lawyers fees, and
- the expenses involved in running a case, such as fees for subpoenas, witnesses, and getting copies of records and expert reports.
If someone wins a case, they may ask for an order that the other side pay their costs.
When can the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia order costs?
The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia can order costs in general protections cases where:
- someone went ahead with a case when it was clearly weak and they had no chance of winning (this is called a 'frivolous or vexatious' case)
- someone did something that was unreasonable (or unreasonably failed to do something) and caused the other side to incur costs. An example of this might be where one party kept asking to postpone (adjourn) the case.
You should get
legal advice about the strength of your case. You should also get
legal advice if your employer tells you they are going to ask the Court for a costs order.
Applying to be paid your costs
If you want to ask the Court for orders that the employer pay your costs, it is possible to do this at the time that the Judge tells you that you have won the case.
You must apply for a cost order within 28 days of a final order being made in your case. You should contact the Court if you forgot to ask the Judge about costs when they made their decision about your case.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
Going to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia - Frequently Asked Questions.