1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Plaintiffs, members and representatives of First Nation Bands, commenced an Action against the Defendants, the Attorney General of Canada and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta for the sale of reserve lands which were purportedly surrendered in the early 1900s. The Plaintiffs had commenced three similar and related Actions regarding the same lands. The Defendants sought to strike the Plaintiffs’ Pleadings as an abuse of process, pursuant to Rule 3.68, because they failed to disclose a cause of action, and on the basis that the claim was barred by the Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12. In the alternative, the Defendants sought Summary Dismissal under Rule 7.3.

With respect to Rule 3.68, McIntyre J. noted that the Rule empowered the Court to strike all or any part of a Claim if the Pleadings constitute an abuse of process. Abuse of process is a flexible doctrine which can arise in many different contexts; there is no universal test or statement of law that encompasses all of the examples. McIntyre J. observed that the doctrine allows the Court to use its inherent jurisdiction to prevent the administration of justice from coming into disrepute.

After reviewing the Pleadings and the specific circumstances of the case, His Lordship granted the Defendants’ Application under Rule 3.68 to strike the Plaintiffs’ Action for abuse of process. In coming to this Decision, Justice McIntyre noted that Foundational Rule 1.2 provided guidance with respect to eliminating duplicative Claims.

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