3.15: Originating application for judicial review
3.22: Evidence on judicial review
13.5: Variation of time periods

Case Summary

The Plaintiffs were denied an insurance claim by their insurer, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (“AFSC”), for losses in relation to its crop production. The Plaintiffs appealed to the AFSC Appeal Committee (“Committee”), but that Appeal was denied. The Plaintiffs then applied to the Court to set aside the Decision of the Committee, and for the Court to consider the Plaintiffs’ sworn Affidavit that was not before the Committee when it heard the Appeal.

The Plaintiff filed for Judicial Review six months after the Committee provided reasons, on June 3, 2013, but did not serve the Defendants until February 3, 2014. The Court first considered whether the Judicial Review Application was barred by Rule 3.15(2) because it was not served within six months of the date of the Committee’s Decision. Rule 3.15 excludes the ability for the Court to extend the time period under Rule 13.5. The Plaintiffs admitted they did not comply with the time frame stipulated in Rule 3.15 to file and serve the Application, but argued that the Court should exercise its discretion to proceed with the Application because it was filed, but just not served in time. Justice Mahoney noted that the timelines in Rule 3.15 are to be strictly enforced and, therefore, dismissed the Application.

Justice Mahoney considered whether the Plaintiffs’ Affidavit was admissible, and whether the Committee’s Decision was reasonable. His Lordship observed that Rule 3.15(5) contemplates the filing of Affidavit evidence, but this Rule is to be read in conjunction with the evidence requirements for Judicial Review set out in Rule 3.22. The general rule is that the Court is restricted to the record that was before the Tribunal being appealed from, and that additional Affidavits are exceptional. Here, the Affidavit challenged the Committee’s findings of fact and attempted to enter new evidence that was available to the Applicant at the time of the Appeal. As such, the Affidavit was inadmissible. Mahoney J. held that the reasons provided by the Committee were reasonable.

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