10.52: Declaration of civil contempt
14.45: Application to admit new evidence

Case Summary

The self-represented Appellant, Oommen, appealed a Decision which held him in Contempt, after he was ordered (and failed) to produce a number of Undertakings from Questioning. The Order required Oommen to complete various Undertakings, and to write to his doctors to request copies of medical charts by December 4, 2015. The Chambers Judge held that Oommen had provided some of the information, but not all of it, and therefore was in Civil Contempt.

The Court of Appeal noted that Oommen referenced materials that did not form part of the record before the Chambers Judge on Appeal, without applying to admit new evidence pursuant to Rule 14.45. As such, the Court of Appeal did not consider that material. The Court of Appeal reviewed the test for Civil Contempt pursuant to Rule 10.52(3)(a)(i) and noted that three elements must exist for Civil Contempt to be established: clarity, knowledge, and intent to disobey. Each of the three elements must be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt. Since the Order in question was clear, the Appellant was aware of its terms (and in fact assisted in finalizing the Order), and the record demonstrated that the Appellant intended to disobey several terms of the Order, Ommen’s Appeal was dismissed.

Oommen argued that the accelerated Costs awarded against him by the Chambers Judge were unreasonable. In Chambers, the Judge had noted that the contempt Application was straightforward, and therefore some of the requested Costs were disallowed. The Court of Appeal held that Chambers Judges have broad discretion to award Costs; moreover, the lower Court’s Decision respecting Costs appeared to be “eminently reasonable”.

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