PL v ALBERTA, 2011 ABQB 215


3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies

Case Summary

The Defendant sought an Order for a Stay of the Action or an indefinite extension of the time in which to file a Statement of Defence on the basis that the allegations in the Statement of Claim duplicated and overlapped with two existing Class Action Proceedings. One of the Class Action Proceedings had been certified, while the other Class Action was pending Certification.  

Graesser J. stated that the Court has the jurisdiction to extend the time limit for filing a Statement of Defence under the appropriate circumstances. Graesser J. referred to Rule 3.68(2) and determined that the applicable provisions were either that the Pleadings did not disclose a reasonable Claim, or that the Claim constituted an abuse of process. Graesser J. determined that the Defendant was not entitled to a stay as it had other methods to deal with these concerns. The Defendant could have demanded Particulars, or applied to strike portions or the entire Statement of Claim, although neither of these types of Applications stay the obligation to file a Statement of Defence.

Graesser J. also considered the fact that the Defendant was resisting the second Class Proceedings Application, presumably on the basis that all such Claims should proceed on their own merits. As the Plaintiff was seeking to advance the Claim on its own merits, Graesser J. determined that there was no good reason to Stay the Action or provide an indefinite extension to the time for filing a Statement of Defence.

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