1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
9.9: Determining damages

Case Summary

After Reasons for Decision in a summary Judgment application were issued (2010 ABQB 718), the Defendant challenged the Master’s jurisdiction to grant condominium fee arrears which had accrued since the issuance of the Statement of Claim.

Master Breitkreuz determined, based on the cases presented by counsel, that the Court had discretion to grant or refuse the Application. However, Master Breitkreuz went on to state that Rule 1.2, which provides that the purpose of the Rules is to provide a means by which claims can be fairly and justly resolved in or by a court process in a timely and cost-effective way, and Rule 9.9, which provides that the Court must determine damages for a continuing claim to the time the Court makes its determination of the amount, favoured the Respondent. The Court was aware that a claim for condominium arrears was not a damages claim, but that it would be unreasonable to interpret Rule 9.9 as being restricted to a damages claim, as the quantification of a liquidated claim is almost always far simpler than a damages claim. In determining what constituted a continuing cause of action, Master Breitkreuz cited case law pre-dating the new Rules, including Wild Rose School Division No. 66 v Bert Pratch Const Co, 1998 ABQB 831. Master Breitkreuz distinguished Wild Rose on two grounds, one of which was the Master’s speculation that counsel might not have referred the Court in that case to Rule 250, the predecessor of new Rule 9.9. In the end result, Master Breitkreuz dismissed the Application.

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