Manderscheid J

3.15: Originating application for judicial review
3.16: Originating application for judicial review: habeas corpus
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs

Case Summary

The Applicant, Mackinnon, sought Judicial Review by way of Originating Application of a decision of Correctional Service Canada (“CSC”) pertaining to his involuntary transfer to a Maximum Security Penitentiary. Justice Manderscheid stated that, in Alberta a habeas corpus Application is initiated by filing an Originating Application for Judicial Review, per Rules 3.15 and 3.16(1). Once filed, habeas corpus applications tend to receive special priority treatment due to the timeliness requirement integral to the function of this special remedy. Manderscheid J. noted that an individual who applies for relief via habeas corpus must identify: a loss of freedom, and a basis on which to allege that the loss of freedom was unlawful.

Manderscheid J. determined that Mackinnon’s Application contained several serious defects and predominantly consisted of open-ended assertions and indefinite bald allegations. His Lordship explained that one way in which pleadings may be defective is where the pleadings fail to meet an informational threshold so that the responding party and Court may evaluate and answer the alleged claim. An application that fails to identify: the relevant decision and associated record; and the specific complaint of alleged illegal conduct should be struck out under Rule 3.68, with costs against the habeas corpus applicant. Mackinnon’s Application was therefore dismissed. Justice Manderscheid noted that, pursuant to Rule 10.29(1), the successful party in a civil action is presumptively due Costs. Accordingly, Costs were awarded to the Respondent.

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