MERCHANT LAW GROUP LLP v BANK OF MONTREAL, 2023 ABKB 74
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
6.56: Application for interpleader order
The Government of Alberta (“Alberta”) served the Respondent bank (the “Bank”) with a Requirement to Pay Money in respect of money owed by the Respondent professional corporation (the “Professional Corp”). The Bank held an account owned by a law firm (the “Law Firm”) that was a partner of the Professional Corp. A dispute arose over whether Alberta was entitled to money in the Law Firm’s account to satisfy a debt of the Professional Corp.
A Justice in Chambers had previously issued an Order granting interpleader relief to the Bank, and the Law Firm appealed that Order. The Alberta Court of Appeal then dismissed the Appeal and remitted the matter back to the Court of King’s Bench for a determination of issues raised by the Order. One of the issues remitted was whether interpleader relief was available to the recipient of a Requirement to Pay Money.
The Court determined that interpleader relief was available to the Bank under Rule 6.56, which allows a Party to apply for interpleader relief when a holder of property who has no claim to that property is faced with two or more claims for that property. The Court determined that the requirements for interpleader relief were met, and disagreed with Alberta’s argument that the Income Tax Act, RSC 1985, c 1 was a comprehensive scheme that left no room for the Bank to obtain such a remedy. The Court also noted that the Application for interpleader furthered the goals of the Rules, which according to Rule 1.2 are to provide a means to fairly and justly resolve disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.View CanLII Details