1.2: Purpose and intention of these rules
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
9.4: Signing judgments and orders

Case Summary

The Plaintiff was a self-represented litigant that brought an Action against numerous parties. One of the Defendants was Alberta Health Services (“AHS”). AHS requested that the Court evaluate the Statement of Claim under Rule 3.68 as provided for by Civil Practice Note No. 7, also known as the “show cause” procedure (the “Show Cause Procedure”).

Rooke J. noted that Canadian Courts are increasingly confronted by abusive litigation. In light of this, Courts have implemented the Show Cause Procedure in order to manage and control abusive litigants and litigation. This procedure also reflects the foundational Rules, including Rule 1.2, which provides that claims should be fairly and justly resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner. Under the Show Cause Procedure, the Court undertakes a paper only process to review potentially abusive Court filings pursuant to Rule 3.68. The Show Cause Procedure is modeled after Rule 2.1 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. Like in Ontario, the Show Cause Procedure is reserved for clear cases of abuse where the frivolous, vexatious, or abusive nature of the proceeding is apparent on the face of the pleading.

In applying the Show Cause Procedure to a Statement of Claim, Rooke J. held that pleadings are to be read generously to allow for drafting deficiencies. However, mere bald allegations that do not provide sufficient detail which would allow a responding party to substantively respond are not adequate to support an action. Once a pleading is confirmed as a suitable candidate for the Show Cause Procedure, then the Court will require written submissions from the Plaintiff to “show cause” within 14 days.

Using the Show Cause Procedure, the Court concluded that the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim failed to adequately indicate the responding parties, which signifies that the document was an abuse of Court process warranting intervention. Rooke J. stayed the Action, and ordered that the Plaintiff prepare, file, and serve a written submission within 14 days pursuant to Civil Practice Note No. 7. If no written submissions were received, then the Court would proceed to render its final decision on whether the Statement of Claim should be struck. Rooke J. ordered that if the Plaintiff provided written submissions, then the Defendants would have 7 days to respond in writing. The Court dispensed with the Plaintiff’s approval of the form of Order pursuant to Rule 9.4(2)(c).

View CanLII Details