GAUTHIER v STARR, 2016 ABQB 213
3.42: Limitation on when judgment or noting in default may occur
3.62: Amending pleading
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
13.6: Pleadings: general requirements
The Plaintiff sued three individuals for trespass, but the Statement of Claim was extremely brief and did not particularize any claims against two of the three Defendants. All three Defendants applied to have the Action struck under Rule 3.68. Associate Chief Justice Rooke noted that a Statement of Claim must provide a minimum threshold of information so the Defendants can provide a meaningful response. Bald allegations are insufficient, and a claim in trespass requires material facts sufficient to demonstrate an intentional tort.
An Amended Statement of Claim was accepted for filing just prior to the chambers Application, pursuant to Rule 3.62, as the Pleadings had not closed. The Amended Statement of Claim was similar to the original but provided additional details about the dates of the alleged trespasses by each Defendant. The Plaintiff also sought to have the Defendants noted in default, but this step was unavailable, pursuant to Rule 3.42(b), as the Defendants had applied to strike the Claim under Rule 3.68. The Defendants argued that the Statement of Claim failed to provide anything more than bald allegations of trespass and did not meet the criteria for pleadings in Rule 13.6. Rooke A.C.J. agreed that the Statement of Claim failed to provide the necessary material facts for the Defendants to make a meaningful response, and therefore struck the Action.
The Plaintiff had been warned in another Action that he may be declared a vexatious litigant if he continued to litigate on the basis of a strategy which Rooke A.C.J. grouped as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments (“OPCA”). It was apparent that the OPCA tactics exhibited similarities in the Plaintiff’s current litigation, and His Lordship held that the Action was in fact OPCA litigation. Rooke A.C.J. further held that the Plaintiff was a vexatious litigant.
Because the Defendants were successful in their Application, they were each awarded $500 in litigation costs, pursuant to Rule 10.29(1) for a contested Application without written briefs. Rooke A.C.J. also ordered that the Plaintiff was prohibited from any further Court filings in respect of the three Defendants.View CanLII Details