SUN v SUN, 2018 ABCA 223


14.5: Appeals only with permission

Case Summary

The Appellant had initially applied in the Court of Queen’s Bench for an Order compelling his sister and others to join the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (the “Initial Application”). The Chambers Judge dismissed the Initial Application, stating that the Court had no jurisdiction to resolve this sort of religious dispute. Thereafter, the Appellant sought permission to Appeal the Initial Application (the “Initial Appeal”). The Initial Appeal was struck for failure to file the Appeal Record and Justice Rowbotham subsequently dismissed the Application to restore the Initial Appeal on the basis that there was no merit to the Appeal.

The Applicant then sought to appeal the dismissal of his Application to a three Judge panel pursuant to Rule 14.5(1)(a) (the “Appeal”). Rowbotham J.A. found that an Application for permission to appeal a single Judge’s decision to a panel must establish that there is: (a) a question of general importance; (b) a possible error of law; (c) an unreasonable exercise of discretion; or (d) a misapprehension of important facts. Justice Rowbotham concluded that the Appeal had no reasonable chance of success and stated that the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Court of Appeal have no jurisdiction to resolve this sort of religious dispute. Justice Rowbotham noted that that this determination was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witness v Wall, 2018 SCC 26 (CanLII). Accordingly, the Application for permission to Appeal was dismissed.

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