BADGER v CANADA, 2017 ABQB 457
3.12: Application of statement of claim rules to originating applications
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
3.71: Separating claims
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
Mr. Badger and another Respondent (together, the “Respondents”) brought a habeas corpus Application respecting their detention in administrative segregation. The Attorney General of Canada, representing the Applicant Crown and Correctional Manager of Segregation, applied to strike the Application pursuant to Rule 3.68. Additionally, an issue emerged as to whether the Application to Strike should be heard in one proceeding, or continue as two separate proceedings pursuant to Rules 3.12 and 3.71. The Attorney General argued that the proceedings should be split, while the Respondents argued that their matters should be heard together to use Court resources more efficiently, as their matters were “practically identical”.
Referring to recent authority, Justice Shelley held that, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Court should not hear joint habeas corpus Applications because such Applications challenge a single Decision and relate to individual rights. Additionally, it was noted that joint habeas corpus may result in “logistical complications” which could harm time-sensitive proceedings, and that they “may result in a non-lawyer effectively directing or guiding a proceeding, putting applicants at risk of negative consequences such as costs award…”. Justice Shelley noted that one of the two Respondents appeared to be directing the actions of both Respondents, as the formatting and handwriting on the hand-written documents was very similar, making the risks associated with non-lawyers directing proceedings very real. As such, Shelley J. held that the proceedings should be split.
With respect to the Application to Strike, Justice Shelley noted that it is well established that Applications must not rely on “bald allegations”. Habeas corpus Applications cannot be based only on “vague suggestions” of unfairness in a Decision or procedure, and must, at the very least, provide sufficient detail respecting the state actor involved and contain specific complaints of alleged illegal conduct. If the Application does not meet this threshold, it should be struck pursuant to Rule 3.68. Justice Shelley warned the Applicants that their individual habeas corpus Applications must specify the cause of their lost liberty and reasons as to why they allege it was unlawful.
Finally, Justice Shelley noted that the Court may order Costs respecting unsuccessful habeas corpus Applications, and that pursuant to Rule 10.29(1), the successful party should receive Costs. Although the Attorney General was successful in its Application and was entitled to Costs, Justice Shelley stayed the payment of Costs until the Respondents’ individual habeas corpus Applications were heard. Justice Shelley struck out the Applicants’ habeas corpus Application.View CanLII Details