CASTLEDOWNS LAW OFFICE MANAGEMENT LTD v FASTTRACK TECHNOLOGIES INC, 2012 ABCA 219
RITTER, MCDONALD AND BIELBY JJA
3.65: Permission of Court to amendment before or after close of pleadings
3.74: Adding, removing or substituting parties after close of pleadings
The Plaintiff (Respondent) and the Defendant (Appellant) were embroiled in a dispute over the ownership of an office building. After a Trial and an Appeal, the Defendant requested that the matter be case-managed. They sought to amend their Claim for damages and to add parties to the Action. The case-management judge had dismissed the Application to Amend and the Defendant appealed. The Court of Appeal considered Rules 3.65 and 3.74 in analyzing the legal test for amending pleadings and adding parties. The Court, relying on prior case law, emphasized that considerable discretion is given to allow amendments after pleadings have closed but that there are exceptions to this presumption of discretion. The exceptions include: circumstances where the proposed addition or amendment would cause serious prejudice to the opposing party, or where a limitations period has expired. The party resisting the amendment or addition bears the burden of showing that, if the amendment were allowed, they would suffer prejudice that would not be compensable by Costs. Additionally, Rule 3.74 expressly provides that an Order adding parties should not be allowed if doing so would cause prejudice that could not be remedied by Costs, Adjournment or the Imposition of Terms. The Court, affirming the Case Management Judge’s Decision, found that the Plaintiff would suffer serious prejudice if parties were added or amendments to the Claim were made. The Appeal was dismissed.
View CanLII Details