WONG v LEUNG, 2011 ABQB 687


3.68: Court options to deal with significant deficiencies
7.3: Summary Judgment (Application and decision)
15.12: New test or criteria

Case Summary

The Defendant applied to strike the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim on the grounds that it disclosed no reasonable claim and was frivolous, irrelevant, improper, or otherwise constituted an abuse of process. In the alternative, the Defendant sought Summary Judgment dismissing the Action. 

The Court found that because the Application was made prior to the commencement of the new Rules, but was heard after November 1, 2010, the new Rules applied (pursuant to Rule 15.12). With regard to Rule 3.68, Master Smart referred to Tottrup v Alberta (Minister of Environment), 2000 ABCA 121, as authority that: (1) the Court must assume that the allegations of fact made by the Plaintiff are true, at which point the Court then determines whether those facts disclose a cause of action, (2) the Plaintiff is entitled to a broad reading of the pleadings, and (3) if the alleged facts, examined in light of the existing law, do not disclose a cause of action, the claim should be struck. Master Smart also noted that pleading deficiencies will not necessarily result in an Action being struck, when, for example, flaws in a pleading are capable of amendment. The Court referred to Donaldson v Farrell, 2011 ABQB 11 for the proposition that a pleading that is frivolous is one that is indicative of bad faith or is hopeless factually. 

Turning to Rule 7.3, Master Smart, citing Manufacturers Life Insurance Co v Executive Centre at Manulife Place Inc, 2011 ABQB 189 and BA Capital Inc v Stream Oil & Gas Ltd, 2011 ABQB 91, stated that the test for Summary Judgment is the same as it was under the “old” Rules. The Court granted Summary Judgement in addition to striking the Statement of Claim as being frivolous and not disclosing a reasonable cause of action.

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