3.61: Request for particulars
3.64: Time limit for application to disallow amendment to pleading
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
13.6: Pleadings: general requirements
13.7: Pleadings: other requirements

Case Summary

The Appellant appealed an Order that struck out his Statement of Claim on the basis that it was beyond the jurisdiction of the Court or did not disclose a reasonable cause of action. The Court set out Rule 3.68 and reviewed the prevailing principles for striking a claim pursuant to the Rule. The Appellant claimed for damages from the Respondent for the way it dealt with his claim for compensation for injuries he suffered in the workplace.

The Court noted that when an Application is brought to strike a Pleading because it is significantly deficient or does not disclose a reasonable claim, a relevant factor is whether the Pleadings are in proper form. The Court noted that Rule 13.6(2)(a) provides that a Pleading must include the facts on which a party relies, but not the evidence by which the facts are to be proved and that Rules 13.6(3) and 13.7 describe some matters that must be specifically pleaded, including: malice, ill will, and wilful default. Further, Rule 3.61 requires that Pleadings must also provide sufficient particulars to give the Defendant notice of the claim and to avoid surprise.

The Court noted that where particular actors are known, using their names can provide important particulars and may enhance the reasonableness of the claim. The Court found that the Appellant did not identify any of the employees of the Respondent that the Appellant alleged had harmed him, although from the context it appeared that he did or should have known some of their identities. The Court found that the Appellant had made Pleadings that amounted to “name calling”, which was not an adequate method of pleading a claim.

Furthermore, the Court set out that is inappropriate to plead conclusions of law generally, unless they are clearly grounded in the facts and necessary to the Pleading. The Court found that the claim contained (1) many Pleadings which were merely conclusory and were insufficient to support any reasonable claim; (2) did not plead that the Respondent acted without an honest belief that it was acting within its jurisdiction;  and (3) numerous causes of action which were not saved by the 41 subparagraphs, which were themselves not grounded in the facts or tied to any particular claim. The Court did however find that the element of the claim dealing with misfeasance in public office (the “Alleged Misfeasance Claim”) was deficient but maintainable against the Respondent.

The Court accordingly allowed the Appeal in part, in which it granted the Appellant the entitlement to amend his Alleged Misfeasance Claim by providing a fresh Statement of Claim limited to the Alleged Misfeasance Claim. The Court stipulated that the Respondent was entitled to comment as to whether the fresh Statement of Claim was in compliance with the Rules and that if the parties were unable to agree that the fresh Statement of Claim was in the proper form in a timely way, the Appellant would need to bring an Application to amend pursuant to Rule 3.64.

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