TWINN v ALBERTA (OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC TRUSTEE), 2022 ABCA 368
SLATTER, SCHUTZ AND FEEHAN JJA
4.14: Authority of case management judge
4.15: Case management judge presiding at summary trial and trial
7.1: Application to resolve particular questions or issues
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
The Appellants appealed from a Case Management Judge’s Decision involving the interpretation of an earlier Court Order regarding the transfer of assets from one trust to another.
The Appellants raised procedural issues as part of their Appeal. The Appellants argued that it was not open to the Case Management Judge to grant substantive and final relief on an Application for advice and direction. The Appellants further argued that the Case Management Judge exceeded his mandate by raising issues that had not been raised by the Parties.
With respect to the first procedural issue, the Court of Appeal held that the Case Management Judge did not err. The Court noted that Case Management Judges have all the powers of other Judges of the Court—under Rule 7.1 they can decide discrete issues, and under Rule 7.3 they may hear Applications for Summary Judgment for some or all of the issues in dispute between the Parties. The Court observed that Rule 4.14 demonstrates the breadth of a Case Management Judge’s powers, which states that their mandate includes “adjudicating any issues that can be decided before commencement of the Trial”. A restriction on their authority exists under Rule 4.15, which states that a Case Management Judge must not preside over the Trial or Summary Trial unless each Party consents.
With respect to the second procedural issue, the Court held that the Case Management Judge overstepped by raising issues not raised by the Parties. The Court of Appeal stated that all Judges must remain neutral and should avoid becoming a protagonist in the litigation or giving the impression that they are predisposed to a particular outcome.
In the outcome, the Court of Appeal set aside the Order under Appeal.View CanLII Details