14.44: Application for permission to appeal
14.50: Time limits for oral argument
14.8: Filing a notice of appeal
14.37: Single appeal judges

Case Summary

This Action revolved around Applications by Julie Cooper and Tower Financial Inc., for an extension of time to seek permission to Appeal, and for permission to Appeal an issue relating to the calculation of prejudgment interest on the non-pecuniary portion of a damages award stemming from a motor vehicle accident.

Following an amendment to the Insurance Act, RSA 2000, c I-3, the rate of prejudgment interest applicable to non-pecuniary damages in motor vehicle accident claims was altered. The Trial Judge applied the new (lower) rate of prejudgment interest from the date of proclamation (December 9, 2020), a Decision which the Appellants sought to challenge.

The Court’s case management officer (CMO) queried the necessity of permission to Appeal under Rule 14.5(1)(g), as the amount in issue appeared to be below $25,000. This Rule necessitates permission to Appeal in such scenarios. Following this, a timeline was set for the Appellants and the Respondent to file respective materials concerning the Appeal.

The Court noted that Applications for permission to Appeal need to be brought within one month of the Judgment, pursuant to Rules 14.44(1)(b) and 14.8(2). The Appellants were required to satisfy a test to extend time to Appeal under Rule 14.37(2)(c), which a single Appeal Judge could grant. The criteria for the test include a bona fide intention to Appeal within the Appeal period, a justifiable explanation for the delay, absence of serious prejudice, not having taken benefits from the Judgment under Appeal, and a reasonable chance of success on Appeal.

Furthermore, the Appellants needed to establish, under the stipulated test, that there was a reasonable prospect of success and that the Appeal concerned a significant public interest issue, in order to obtain permission to Appeal a decision under $25,000.

Both Applications were granted as the Applicants satisfied the conditions set forth by the Rules, permitting the Appeal and extending the time to file.

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