graesser j

2.22: Self-represented litigants
2.23: Assistance before the Court
9.15: Setting aside, varying and discharging judgments and orders
9.16: By whom applications are to be decided

Case Summary

The Defendants applied to open up a Default Judgment made against them. Citing Rule 9.16, the Defendants asked that the matter be adjourned so that it could be heard by the Judge who granted the Order for Judgment. Justice Graesser declined to adjourn, stating that it was unnecessary since the Judge who granted the Order had not heard any evidence.

Graesser J. held that a combination of Rules 2.22, 2.23 and the Legal Profession Act, R.S.A. 2000, c L-8 barred Ms. Schultz, an officer of the Plaintiff Corporation, from representing the company at Trial. Justice Graesser concluded that only a student-at-law or a lawyer could represent a corporation.

Justice Graesser stated that the Defendants could open up a Default Judgment pursuant to Rule 9.15(3) if they could show a reasonable explanation for failing to file a Defence, had acted promptly in applying to set aside the Default Judgment, and had a good defence on the merits. Graesser J. held that the Defendants did not meet the legal test because they conceded that they were liable to some extent. The Application was dismissed, and the Defendants were invited to reapply with appropriate evidence.

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