3.67: Close of pleadings
3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
3.74: Adding, removing or substituting parties after close of pleadings
3.76: Action to be taken when defendant or respondent added
9.4: Signing judgments and orders
10.33: Court considerations in making costs award

Case Summary

The Applicant’s lawsuit had been struck out pursuant to Rule 3.68 via Civil Practice Note No. 7 as an abuse of the Court’s processes. The Court, on its own motion, had initiated a review of whether the Respondents should be subject to Court access restrictions. During that motion, various parties were provided an opportunity to make submissions as to whether Court access restrictions should apply.

Rooke A.C.J. noted that the Court of Appeal in Jonsson v Lymer, 2020 ABCA 167 had concluded that the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench possesses only a residual authority to conduct Court access restriction processes. Therefore, the Court access review process was terminated, and the parties sought direction on the form of Order arising from the subsequent proceedings.

The Applicants claimed that Alberta Health Services (“AHS”) and another individual should be named as Third Party Respondents in the Order’s style of cause. The other participants rejected this position.

The Court found that AHS and the other individual were not Third Party Respondents, and that no Application had ever been made pursuant to any of the governing Rules (3.67, 3.74 or 3.76) to add those parties to the Action. The original Plaintiffs were properly named Respondents to the motion of the Court. His Lordship noted that the back-and-forth nature of civil litigation means that the same party may “wear different hats” at different points in the litigation.

Finally, the Court noted that the disputed form of Order was exactly the same in substance as that which had been granted in the most recent hearing on the issue. His Lordship found that the Applicant’s conduct was a prime example of unnecessarily lengthening the Action as referred to in Rule 10.33(2). Accordingly, the Court ordered the Applicant to pay Costs, and dispensed with approval of the form and content of the Order pursuant to Rule 9.4(2)(c).

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