Rooke ACJ

3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
9.4: Signing judgments and orders
13.7: Pleadings: other requirements

Case Summary

The Court’s Complex Litigant Management Counsel drew to the Court’s attention the Defamation Action brought by Stephanie Bissky (the “Plaintiff”) noting it as an Apparently Vexatious Application or Proceeding (“AVAP”). The Court had designated Rooke A.C.J., per paragraph 5 of Civil Practice Note No. 7, to review AVAPs.

Associate Chief Justice Rooke reviewed the Statement of Claim and noted: (1) that the claim for $5 million in damages was excessive, and not substantiated in any manner by the Statement of Claim; (2) the Statement of Claim did not conform to requirement in Rule 13.7(f) that “[a] pleading must giver particulars of ... defamation”; and (3) the allegations documented in the Statement of Claim appeared to be bald allegations which did not provide an adequate basis on which the Defendant may respond.

On this basis, His Lordship concluded that the Action should be subject to a “show cause” document-based Rule 3.68 review of the Action per Civil Practice Note No. 7 (the “Procedure”). The Procedure permits a Court to evaluate whether an AVAP is unmeritorious, has no prospect of success, or is otherwise abusive and vexatious. Rooke A.C.J. noted that the Plaintiff is given an opportunity to, within 14 days, provide the Court, and serve on the other parties, a written submission that responds to and demonstrates why the AVAP is a legitimate Action and should be permitted to continue.

Further, Associate Chief Justice Rooke found it appropriate that the Plaintiff be made subject of interim Court access restrictions, per Civil Practice Note No. 7, para 7(a). His Lordship ordered that the Court prepare and serve the Interim Court Access Restriction Order and noted that the Plaintiff’s approval as to the form of the Order be dispensed with, as per Rule 9.4(2)(c).

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