MEADS v MEADS, 2012 ABQB 571
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
4.22: Considerations for security for costs order
10.29: General rule for payment of litigation costs
10.49: Penalty for contravening rules
Crystal Lynne Meads (the “Appellant”) requested a Case Management Hearing to help resolve issues she faced dealing with her husband, Dennis Larry Meads (the “Respondent”) in relation to ongoing spousal and child support payments. At the Case Management Hearing, the Respondent proclaimed that, as a “child of God”, he was not subject to the Rule of Law and therefore not obligated to provide further support payments. The litany of fallacious arguments submitted by the Respondent at the Case Management represented a group Justice Rooke labeled as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument Litigants (“OPCALs”); individuals who employ techniques to disrupt Court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.
Justice Rooke’s Reasons for Decision served to assist the Appellant in dealing with the Respondent as she moves through the litigation process. However, Justice Rooke’s ultimate goal in this decision was to address and rebut the controversial arguments and concepts adopted by the OPCAL community and “set the record straight” for Canadian Courts to end the OPCAL community’s abuse of the litigation process.
Rooke J. cited Rule 3.68(2)(c) which allows Courts to strike Claims or dismiss an Action where a Justice concludes that a commencement document or pleading is frivolous, irrelevant, or improper. Justice Rooke referenced numerous nonsensical documents submitted to the Court by the Respondent and suggested that Rule 3.68(2)(c) could be applied in the circumstances of this case. Moreover, the Court added that a proceeding may be struck where a Defendant is “left both embarrassed and unable to defend itself”: Kisikawpimootein v Canada, 2004 FC 1426.
With regard to elevated Costs, Rooke J noted a potential exception to the rule that a successful litigant is entitled to a costs award against the unsuccessful party (Rule 10.29(1)), and that is where there is a novel issue before the Court: Grant v Grant, 2010 ABQB 735. However, the Court maintained that the opposite occurs with OPCALs and cited numerous cases that support ordering elevated costs against OPCALs.
With regard to an Order for Security for Costs, Justice Rooke stated that litigation, a defence, or an Application that flows from a known OPCAL strategy might favour an Order for Security for Costs against an OPCAL. Since OPCALs usually maintain that they stand outside the Court’s authority, that alone should be a strong factor that may favour a Security of Costs Order under Rule 4.22(e).
Further, His Lordship observed that Rule 10.49(1) authorizes a Justice to order a person to pay the Court Clerk a penalty where the person fails to comply with the Rules and interferes with the proper or efficient administration of justice. The Rule provides a “very helpful mechanism to address OPCAL misconduct”. Justice Rooke added that any fine issued under this Rule does not affect the substance of a dispute, thus respecting the legal rights and issues that an OPCAL may have.View CanLII Details