7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Plaintiff sought Summary Judgment against the Defendants in relation to an outstanding loan amount, plus interest and costs. The Plaintiff and each of the Defendants submitted Affidavits in respect of the Summary Judgment Application. Little J. commented that some of the evidence was contradictory.

Justice Little noted that much of the case law cited in connection with Summary Judgment under the former Rules stated that the Application cannot be successful if there are competing Affidavits. However, Little J. noted that since those decisions, the Alberta Court of Appeal in Windsor v Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., 2014 ABCA 108, has interpreted Rule 7.3 more broadly, stating that the modern test requires that the Court “examine the record to see if a disposition that is fair and just to both parties can be made on the existing record”. Little J. also cited Hryniak v Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 in which the Supreme Court of Canada outlined the process for determining a motion for Summary Judgment. Little J., awarded Judgment in favour of the Plaintiff, noting:

I am persuaded that a trial judge, particularly because fraud and trust principles were not pled which might require an assessment of credibility determinable only by seeing and hearing the witnesses, would not be in a better position to assess the evidence in this case than a motions judge reviewing the extensive material filed. That material allows me to make the necessary findings of fact, to apply the law to those facts, and to determine that Rule 7.3 is the appropriate mechanism for a timely and just adjudication of this claim.

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