1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
6.3: Applications generally
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Plaintiff sold and serviced oilfield equipment. The Plaintiff commenced an Action against the Defendant after it allegedly refused to take delivery of, and pay for, custom built equipment which they ordered from the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff applied for Summary Judgment for the purchase price of the equipment, plus interest and Costs. The Defendant argued that an amendment Application should have been brought prior to the Summary Judgment Application in order to include additional claims with respect to a contract between the parties made in December 2014.

Master Mason stated that this approach is inconsistent with Rule 1.2(3)(a) which requires the parties to identify the real issues in dispute and to facilitate the quickest means of resolving the claim at the least expense. Master Mason observed that the Defendants understood the claims brought by the Plaintiff, and the Summary Judgment Application complied with Rule 6.3(2).

Master Mason noted that Summary Judgment is governed by Rule 7.3, and that Alberta has a long history of taking a robust approach to Summary Judgment. The Court noted that Summary Judgment is no longer denied solely on the basis that the evidence discloses a triable issue. The Court now asks whether there is any issue of merit that genuinely requires a Trial or, conversely, whether the claim or defence is so compelling that the likelihood that it will succeed is very high such that it should be determined summarily. The Court also should consider whether an examination of the existing record can lead to a fair and just disposition. The standard for fairness is not whether the process is as exhaustive as a Trial, but whether it gives the Judge confidence that the necessary facts can be found and the relevant legal principles can be applied. The Court is to presume the best evidence from both sides is before it, and the party faced with an Application for Summary Judgment must put its best foot forward. The key is whether the circumstances require viva voce evidence in order to properly resolve the case.

Following an examination of the evidence on the record, Master Mason granted Summary Judgment in favour of the Plaintiff.

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