Manderscheid J

7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)

Case Summary

The Defendant/Counterclaimant, County of Northern Lights (the “County”), appealed a Master’s Order dismissing their Application for Summary Judgment as against the Plaintiff, SA Refueling. The County had leased certain premises at an airport to SA Refueling for the use of aircraft refueling operations. The lease provided that an annual rent would be paid in addition to a charge based on the amount of fuel which was purchased by the County and delivered to the SA Refueling’s tank at the airport premises. The County notified SA Refueling that it was terminating the lease due to unauthorized behaviour. SA Refueling commenced an Action claiming that the termination of the lease was invalid. The County filed a Counterclaim alleging unpaid rent and fuel charges.

The County applied for Summary Judgment which was dismissed by a Master due to a factual disagreement as to whether the lease provided that the payment would be based on the amount of fuel delivered to or dispensed from the tank. The Master determined that the Counterclaim was inextricably bound up with the Action itself, and even if it were possible to give Judgment for the Counterclaim, it would be appropriate to Stay the Judgment pending the outcome of the entire Action.

On appeal, Justice Manderscheid noted that the test for Summary Judgment under Rule 7.3 asks, in part, whether there is an issue of merit that genuinely requires a Trial; and, where there is such an issue, if the Claim is so compelling that the likelihood of success is very high, it can be determined summarily.

Justice Manderscheid noted that SA Refueling clearly did not meet its obligation to pay under the lease and the only issue was the amount outstanding. Justice Manderscheid allowed the County’s Appeal and granted Summary Judgment.

View CanLII Details