AVI v MHVB, 2020 ABQB 489


2.11: Litigation representative required
2.22: Self-represented litigants
2.23: Assistance before the Court
9.4: Signing judgments and orders

Case Summary

In this Action, Justice Graesser assessed the merit of an Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (“OPCA”) within the context of a family law dispute. In the unique circumstances before the Court, Jacqueline Robinson (“Robinson”) purported to represent the mother, MHVB, as an appointed litigation guardian in a custody battle with the father, AVI.

Robinson prescribed to a subset of the OPCA belief system called the “Strawman Theory”, whereby she claimed to be comprised of two halves, one of which is a flesh and blood element falling outside the purview of governmental and legal authorities, while the second half - the “Strawman”- is an immaterial legal aspect that is subject to conventional authorities. The Court noted that the legal system has dealt with several different OPCA ideologies in the past, all of which have been wholly rejected as having any legal force and effect.

His Lordship first examined the Power of Attorney which Robinson alleged granted her the ability to represent MHVB in the proceedings, and in doing so, found that as Robinson was not a lawyer, she was unable to represent MHVB. Additionally, the Court noted that while Rule 2.11 contemplates appointing a guardian for those who lack mental capacity, no suggestion had been made that this was the case for MHVB, and further, that the Rules do not permit a litigant to appoint its own guardian in any case. As a final note on this issue, His Lordship confirmed that no one who follows OPCA ideologies is fit to act as a litigation representative, citing R v Dick, 2002 BCCA 27.

Having described Robinson as a third-party “busy-body interloper” who had abused the Court process by intervening, Justice Graesser crafted an Order barring her from participating in, or communicating with, the Courts in relation to the underlying family law Action. Moreover, His Lordship provided that Robinson would have until September 30, 2020 to respond with Affidavit evidence as to why she should not be globally banned from providing legal advice, preparing documents submitted to the Court, or from making representations to the Court as a self represented litigant, agent, or friend of the Court as provided for in Rules 2.22 and 2.23. Approval of the Order was dispensed with pursuant to Rule 9.4(2) such that a Clerk of the Court would be authorized to sign on Justice Graesser’s behalf.

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