LKD v JB, 2012 ABCA 72
PICARD, SLATTER, O'FERRALL JJA
7.1: Application to resolve particular questions or issues
12.3: Application of other Parts
After a 30 day Trial, the Provincial Court gave guardianship of a child to the Respondents. Subsequently, an Appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench was filed and a Case Management Judge was appointed. This particular Decision arose from an Appeal of two of the Orders of the Case Management Judge.
Slatter J.A., writing for the Court, stated that absent an error on an extricable question of law, discretionary Decisions of Case Management Judges are entitled to deference and are not to be overruled unless they reflect an error of principle or are clearly unreasonable. After considering the reasoning behind the first Order of the Case Management Judge, the Court held that the Order was not unreasonable, nor was there a reviewable error.
Regarding the second Order, the Case Management Judge refused to sever some of the issues on Appeal and have them argued and decided ahead of time, deciding that the legal issues overlapped and the facts might be important to deciding them. The Trial Judge expressed reservations as to whether Rule 7.1 applied to family law Appeals but the Court of Appeal stated that the intention of Rule 12.3 was that the general Rules applied to family law proceedings with the necessary modifications. Based on this, in the right case, issues on Appeal could be severed and decided separately. Slatter J.A. also noted that Case Management Judges acquire special knowledge about the issues that are going to arise in a proceeding, and their assessment of when and how the issues should be decided, and on this basis, such decisions should not be lightly disturbed. Regarding the second Order, the Court of Appeal also held that the conclusion of the Case Management Judge was not unreasonable and did not disclose a reviewable error. The Appeal was dismissed.View CanLII Details