Master Hanebury

3.12: Application of statement of claim rules to originating applications
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Defendant, Devon, applied to Summarily Dismiss the Plaintiff’s Claim. The question at issue in this Application was whether Devon was required to file a Statement of Defence prior to its Summary Judgment Application being heard.

Master Hanebury noted that the language of Rule 7.3 no longer required the filing of a Statement of Defence prior to making a Summary Judgment Application. Master Hanebury observed that the thrust of Devon’s Application for Summary Dismissal was founded on the Limitations Act, RSA 2000, c L-12. The Court cited Makowichuk v Makowichuk, 2013 ABCA 439 (CanLII) for the proposition that a Defence under the Limitations Act is only available to a Defendant if expressly pleaded. Devon argued that this interpretation could not be correct because, if so, an Originating Application could never be dismissed as a result of a limitations argument (since there was no Statement of Defence). Master Hanebury rejected this argument, noting that the Court has discretion to deem an Originating Notice to be a Statement of Claim and require the filing of a Statement of Defence pursuant to Rule 3.12. In the result, Master Hanebury ordered that Devon file a Statement of Defence before proceeding with its Summary Judgment Application.

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