RUE v ASSANTE WEALTH MANAGEMENT (CANADA) LTD, 2014 ABQB 109
1.4: Procedural orders
10.31: Court-ordered costs award
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award
The Plaintiffs commenced a prospective Class Action against a financial advisor and his employer for fraud and misappropriation of funds. The individual Defendant was also criminally charged for causing the death of one of his former clients; she died when the letter bomb the Defendant allegedly sent to her exploded. The individual Defendant applied for a stay of the proceedings in the potential Class Action pending the final determination of the criminal proceedings. In the alternative, the Defendant sought an Order directing that, pending the final determination of the criminal proceedings, there be certain protections afforded to the Defendant with respect to Questioning related to the criminal proceedings. The Plaintiffs agreed to the alternative relief, but the Defendant appeared before the Court to request the stay in any case.
Associate Chief Justice Rooke considered the test for a stay where there are concurrent criminal and civil proceedings. His Lordship noted that the jurisdiction of the Court to grant a stay is provided for in the Judicature Act and the Class Proceedings Act and augmented by Rule 1.4(2)(h). Associate Chief Justice Rooke confirmed that a stay of proceedings was discretionary and not a matter of right. The test for the stay was: whether the pending criminal charges were sufficiently interrelated with the civil Action so that the Defendants would be prejudiced if the civil Action continued; and whether the Defendants could demonstrate that the stay would not cause an injustice to the Plaintiff Class. Associate Chief Justice Rooke held that, in all the circumstances, the Defendant did not meet the test for a stay which would require the Court to exercise its discretion, and the alternative Order which the Respondents agreed to adequately protected the Defendant. With respect to costs, Associate Chief Justice Rooke ordered that, since the Plaintiffs had effectively made an offer equal to what was granted, double costs were appropriate pursuant to the Rules of Court.View CanLII Details