3.37: Application for judgment against defendant noted in default
11.25: Real and substantial connection

Case Summary

The Plaintiff sued the Defendant for defamation for statements made about the Plaintiff between the Fall of 2010 and May 2011. At the time of the incident, both the Plaintiff and the Defendant were residing in Calgary, Alberta. Since then, the Defendant had moved back to India, while the Plaintiff continued to reside in Alberta.

The Defendant was Noted in Default and the matter was set for an assessment of damages pursuant to Rule 3.37. As the Defendant was Noted in Default, the facts in the Statement of Claim were deemed to be admitted (TLA Food Services Ltd v 1144707 Alberta Ltd, 2011 ABQB 550). In 2004, the Defendant had made similar statements in India. These earlier statements were admitted to prove that the Defendant was the author of the statements at issue in this Action.

Before assessing damages, Nixon J. considered whether the Court could hear the case against a foreign defendant who had not attorned to the jurisdiction. The Court found that all relevant documents were served on the Defendant. Nixon J., after reviewing the circumstances under Rule 11.25(3), also found that a real and substantial connection to Alberta existed, as all publications were sent, and the internet and blog postings were accessed, by individuals in Alberta.

Upon determining that the Defendant had published defamatory statements in Alberta about the Plaintiff, the Court turned to damages. The Court awarded $75,000 in general damages and $50,000 in aggravated damages. Punitive damages were not awarded. The Court also awarded injunctive relief. The Court did not direct an apology or retraction as the Defendant was neither a newspaper nor a broadcaster. Costs were awarded on a solicitor-client basis.

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