Thursday, June 14, 2012

Definition of indigent

Foote v. Canada (Attorney General),  2012 BCCA 253 provides a helpful definition of indigent.  The concept is relevant across the law, being relevant for security for costs, costs generally and representation in criminal matters and appeals:

[8]             A litigant is indigent when possessed of some means, but such scanty means that he or she is needy or poor. The question to be answered is whether the litigant’s “financial situation is such that requiring him to pay the fees would deprive him of the necessaries of life or effectively deny him access to the courts”. Significant assets may defeat an application for indigent status irrespective of income. (See Griffith v. House, 2000 BCCA 371 (Chambers) at para. 3; Ancheta v. Ready, 2003 BCCA 374 (Chambers) at paras. 6-7; Owners, Strata Plan VR 2000 v. Grabarczyk, 2008 BCCA 405 (Chambers) at para. 11; Kawana at paras. 10-12; Terrapin Mortgage at paras. 15-16; Rapton at paras. 13-14.)

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