R v AYYAZI, 2022 ABKB 836


10.49: Penalty for contravening rules

Case Summary

The Accused, Ali Mohamed Ayyazi (the “Accused”), was facing criminal Trial for cocaine trafficking. Following multiple failed appearances for Court hearings, an arrest warrant was issued for the Accused. On May 31, 2022, the Court received a package of materials that had been notarized by an Alberta lawyer (the “Lawyer”). The Lawyer had notarized pseudolaw documents for the Accused, which purported to defeat the arrest warrant, which the Court characterized as a “get of out jail free card”. These pseudolaw strategies are known as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument (“OPCA”) concepts.

The Court’s Decision in this case centred around the cost consequences for the Lawyer. Rooke A.C.J. found, in an earlier decision, that by notarizing the pseudolaw documents, the Lawyer participated in the Accused’s OPCA schemes, either knowingly or by being willfully blind to her participation. Rooke A.C.J. invited the Lawyer to make submissions as to why she should not be personally liable for a monetary penalty pursuant to Rule 10.49.

The Lawyer argued that she was simply acting in her capacity as a Notary Public to ensure that the Accused was the actual person signing the pseudolaw documents. She also argued that she verified the Accused’s identification and believed that the Accused did sign the pseudolegal documents. Further, the Lawyer stated that the documents she notarized did not include four pages that were part of the package received by the Court.

The Court rejected the Lawyer’s arguments. The signature on the pseudolaw documents did not match the alleged government-issued identification, which was a fraudulent document. The Lawyer failed to respond to any legal authorities stating that what the Lawyer did was prohibited. The Lawyer is a Notary because she is a lawyer; she was not a Notary as a free-standing, independent status. Even as a Notary, the Lawyer did not comply with Notary obligations. The Lawyer was acting in her capacity as a lawyer, and she was potentially liable for the negative consequences of the pseudolaw documents.

The Court held that the Lawyer breached her duties as a lawyer and as a Notary. She had also obviously and clearly disregarded a direction of the Court, per Rule 10.49(1)(a), and had interfered with the proper or efficient administration of justice by notarizing the pseudolaw documents, per Rule 10.49(1)(b). Accordingly, the Court issued a penalty in the amount of $10,000.00, pursuant to Rule 10.49.

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