RAHMANI v 959630 ALBERTA LTD, 2021 ABCA 110
VELDHUIS, KHULLA AND ANTONIO JJA
1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
4.33: Dismissal for long delay
4.4: Standard case obligations
The Court heard an Appeal of a Chambers Judge’s refusal to dismiss the Action for long delay pursuant to Rule 4.33, as well as the Chambers Judge’s Decision to set a litigation plan. The underlying Action arose when Mr. Rahmani was detained while travelling in the United States on false allegations that he was a terrorist, during which he was unable to pay his rent to 959630 Alberta Ltd., (“959”), resulting in 959 selling the contents of his apartment and renting it to a new tenant.
Mr. Rahmani issued a Statement of Claim alleging wrongful seizure and disposal of his personal property. The parties attended Questioning and exchanged Undertaking responses, which was the last significant step taken in the Action that all parties agreed constituted an advancement of the Action. The dispute in reference to Rule 4.33 was whether an expert opinion letter explaining how Mr. Rahmani’s detention in a foreign country impacted his mental health and therefore his ability to move the Action forward, was a significant advance. The Court also considered whether Mr. Rahmani’s Application to schedule a Trial date, and providing a loss appraisal report to opposing counsel, was a significant advance in the Action.
The Court considered the principles governing Rule 4.33, including that the Rule must be applied within the context of Rule 1.2, and that pursuant to Rule 1.2, Defendants are obligated not to obstruct, stall or delay an Action that the Plaintiff is trying to advance.
The Court found that the Chambers Judge did not err in finding that the expert letter being provided to opposing counsel significantly advanced the Action, as it was not just a mere summary of information which was already provided to the Defendant. Additionally, the Court upheld the lower Court’s finding that the loss appraisal report also significantly advanced the Action, as it provided further information to quantify losses in response to an Undertaking request. As such, the Chambers Judge’s Decision to dismiss the Application for long delay was upheld, and a procedural Order to submit a litigation plan within 60 days was made, pursuant to Rule 4.4.View CanLII Details