10.52: Declaration of civil contempt
11.21: Service by electronic method
11.5: Service on individuals

Case Summary

The Plaintiff and Defendant applied and cross-applied for various relief with the Plaintiff seeking, among other things, a Declaration for Civil Contempt against her ex-husband. Justice Veit noted that Contempt proceedings are quasi-criminal in nature, which justifies the unique process stipulated by Rule 10.52. In this case, the Plaintiff had failed to serve a Form 27 by personal service or a substitutional service Order.

Veit J. noted that the content of a Contempt Application is set by the common law, not by the Rules. The Applicant must clearly state what the alleged contemnor has done wrong; prove that the alleged contemnor had actual knowledge of the allegedly contravened Order; and prove the alleged contemnor intended to breach the Order. Her Ladyship also noted that Contempt Applications are effectively bifurcated into a “liability phase” and a “penalty phase”, which necessitates two distinct hearing dates, and given the over-burdened Court system, the Applicant should anticipate the need for two dates well in advance. Finally, despite the language of Form 47 being that the contemnor must “show cause” why he or she should not be held in contempt, Justice Veit noted that the burden is on the Applicant throughout the process. Justice Veit concluded that the Plaintiff was not entitled to the Order of imprisonment for contempt she sought, and the Application was dismissed.

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