1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
4.33: Dismissal for long delay
15.6: Resolution of difficulty or doubt

Case Summary

The Defendant had applied to strike the Plaintiff’s Claim for long delay pursuant to Rule 4.33. During the previous hearing, Master Breitkreuz held that the Defendant had met all the requirements of Rule 4.33 to dismiss the Plaintiff’s Claim for long delay, but sought submissions from the Parties as to whether Rule 15.6 might affect how Rule 4.33 applied in the circumstances. Master Breitkreuz noted that Rule 15.6 provides that, if there is doubt about how the Rules of Court apply when a “difficulty, injustice or impossibility” may arise, the Court may suspend the operation of any Rule or modify how the Rule operates or applies. Master Breitkreuz considered prior authority in which Rule 15.6 did not stop the operation of Rule 4.33 and observed that Rule 1.2(2) is meant to facilitate the quick resolution of a Claim and to encourage resolutions of claims early in the process.

The Plaintiff argued that Rule 15.6 was a codification of the Court’s inherent jurisdiction to grant equitable relief. Master Breitkreuz observed that the rules of equity will not override the Rules of Court, and that in these circumstances, allowing Rule 15.6 to affect the Rule 4.33 Application would result in uncertainty in the future application of Rule 4.33. Accordingly, Master Breitkreuz held that Rule 15.6 could not save the Plaintiff from the Defendant’s Rule 4.33 Application. The Application was granted.

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