Rooke ACJ

2.22: Self-represented litigants
2.23: Assistance before the Court
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
9.4: Signing judgments and orders
13.7: Pleadings: other requirements
14.5: Appeals only with permission

Case Summary

In February of 2019, Associate Chief Justice Rooke was notified that the Court had received an Apparently Vexatious Application or Proceeding (“AVAP”) per Rule 3.68 and Civil Practice Note No. 7 (“CPN7”). Rooke A.C.J. reviewed the identified the relevant document and concluded that the Statement of Claim had three apparent defects: it sought $5 million in damages without any apparent basis; it did not plead the particulars of alleged defamation per Rule 13.7(f); and it was composed of pleadings that were “bald allegations” and therefore an inadequate basis for the Court and Defendant to respond.

The Plaintiff, (“Ms. Bissky”), had also initiated 11 Provincial Court of Alberta Civil Actions, two of which were lawsuits against her ex-partner Mr. MacDonald. In both instances those claims were withdrawn in a pre-trial hearing. Associate Chief Justice Rooke noted that Ms. Bissky had engaged in abusive litigation directed against Mr. MacDonald and Ms. MacLeod. Rooke A.C.J. found Ms. Bissky to be extremely antagonistic and hostile towards Mr. MacDonald and Ms. MacLeod and found her conduct to be for an improper purpose. Rooke A.C.J. noted that litigation for an improper purpose is a very serious form of litigation misconduct which subverts public confidence in the proper administration of justice, and which strongly favours Court intervention.

Associate Chief Justice Rooke reviewed the relevant jurisprudence and concluded, on the Court’s own motion and under its inherent jurisdiction, that Ms. Bissky should be subject to indefinite Court access restrictions, and was declared a vexatious litigant. His Lordship ordered various restrictions including: (1) that if a single Appeal Judge grants Ms. Bissky leave to commence an Appeal, Ms. Bissky may be required to apply for permission to Appeal under Rule 14.5(1)(j); and (2) precluding Ms. Bissky from acting as an agent under Rules 2.22 and 2.23, or any other form of representation in Court proceedings.

Finally, His Lordship ordered that Ms. Bissky’s approval as to the form and content of the Order was not required per Rule 9.4(2)(c).

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