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Case Law is a sample selection from the weekly summaries of notable unreported civil and criminal court decisions published in Law Times newspaper.

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Bankruptcy and Insolvency

Arrangements

Application for extension of stay under Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Can.) was granted

Applicant, debtor company, applied for extension of stay of proceedings under Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Can.). Application granted. Debtor established that circumstances existed that made order appropriate and that it acted and was acting in good faith and with due diligence. Request for extension of stay was supported by chief restructuring officer, monitor and principled stakeholders except for U Corp., who sought shorter extension. Debtor was entitled to longer stay it requested based on its estimation that sales and investment process that was underway would require more time than what U Corp. proposed to complete negotiations with successful bidder and satisfy any conditions. Longer extension furthered prospect of successful, going-concern restructuring. If that was not feasible then longer stay would be required to implement other arrangements to satisfy claims of creditors. Evidence was not sufficient to require shorter extension. It was not appropriate to impose conditions requiring delivery of information by debtor.
U.S. Steel Canada Inc., Re (May. 10, 2016, Ont. S.C.J., H. Wilton-Siegel J., CV-14-10695-00CL) 266 A.C.W.S. (3d) 295.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency

Administration of estates

Trial judge failed to give effect to all words of release

Company granted two charges over property to creditor, to secure money it borrowed and to secure guarantees it provided in support of two promissory notes from K, principal of company, and G. Creditor brought action against G and K on promissory notes and separate action against company, and it obtained default judgment against company and K. G brought action against K and his companies, which was settled, and parties entered into mutual release. G incorporated numbered company and creditor assigned charges on company’s property and default judgment to numbered company for valuable consideration. Subsequent to assignment, company was adjudged bankrupt. Property was sold. Numbered company filed proof of claim in bankruptcy for $765,792.38, reflecting charges. Trial judge allowed numbered company’s claims as assignee, rejecting argument that release applied to bar numbered company’s claims as assignee. Trustee in bankruptcy appealed. Appeal allowed. When considered as whole, release applied to companies controlled by G, including numbered company, and to subject matter of numbered company’s claims. Trial judge failed to give effect to all words of release. Numbered company was company under G’s control and was captured by definition of parties included in release. Result made commercial and practical sense, and was consistent with purpose underlying settlement. Parties to settlement, read to include numbered company, gave up claims to proceeds generated by company, including proceeds from sale of property. It was not open to G, through numbered company, to circumvent his obligations. Trial judge erred in not considering entire contract when interpreting its proper meaning and scope and claims of numbered company were disallowed.
Montor Business Corp. (Trustee of) v. Goldfinger (May. 30, 2016, Ont. C.A., E.A. Cronk J.A., S.E. Pepall J.A., and P. Lauwers J.A., CA C57898) Decision at 237 A.C.W.S. (3d) 296 was varied. 266 A.C.W.S. (3d) 21.


Appeal

Procedure

Justice of case did not warrant extension of time to file notice of appeal

Applicant started proceedings in respect of father’s estate challenging respondent’s right to certain accounts that were in joint names of respondent and father prior to father’s death. Parties brought summary judgment motions. Applicant’s motion was dismissed and respondent’s motion was granted. Result was that joint accounts were declared to have passed by right of survivorship to respondent and did not form part of father’s estate. Applicant brought motion for extension of time to file appeal from order. Applicant was lawyer and stated he did not do civil appeals, but less than two years ago he was counsel on summary judgment motion and on appeal. Motion dismissed. There was no doubt applicant formed bona fide intention to appeal within appeal period. Length of delay in filing notice of appeal was short being less than three weeks. Doubt was cast on explanation for delay suggesting applicant was less than forthcoming in his explanation for delay. There was no prejudice caused, perpetrated or exacerbated by delay. Applicant failed to show any merit in proposed appeal. Grounds of proposed notice of appeal going to merits were bald generalized assertions. Justice of case did not warrant extension of time to file notice of appeal.
Laski v. Laski Estate (May. 4, 2016, Ont. C.A., E.E. Gillese J.A., In Chambers, CA M46343) 266 A.C.W.S. (3d) 15.


Constitutional Law

Charter of Rights

Application that name “Domestic Violence Court” be deemed invalid dismissed

Applicant was charged with assaulting his son based on allegation made by boy’s mother. One of conditions of applicant’s bail was that applicant not attend mother’s house. Applicant attended house and was charged with breach of recognizance and obstructing police. Breach charges were assigned to Domestic Violence Court, where applicant attended for several pre-trial appearances. Prosecuting Crown realized that matter had been assigned to Domestic Violence Court in error because assault had not been against mother. Charges were transferred to regular Criminal Court in Ontario Court of Justice where applicant was tried and acquitted. Applicant alleged name of court violated his constitutional rights under ss. 7, 12, and 15 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Application for declaration that name “Domestic Violence Court” be deemed invalid and for order that name be changed to “Domestic Court” was dismissed. Trial judge found there was no evidence before court that applicant had personally suffered stigma sufficient to engage his s. 7 security of person interest Trial judge found notwithstanding his claims of stigmatization and prejudice, applicant had positive experience with Children’s Aid Society during time matter was before Domestic Violence Court. Trial judge found applicant was able to fully defend himself, without being prejudiced by his appearances in Domestic Violence Court. Trial judge found no deprivation of fundamental justice. Trial judge found name of court was rationally connected to valid government purpose and scope. Applicant appealed. Appeal dismissed. Trial judge properly applied test. Application risked trivializing important Charter rights.
Foessl v. Ontario (Attorney General) (Apr. 22, 2016, Ont. C.A., Alexandra Hoy A.C.J.O., R.A. Blair J.A., and L.B. Roberts J.A., CA C60986) Decision at 257 A.C.W.S. (3d) 99 was affirmed. 265 A.C.W.S. (3d) 901.


Administrative Law

Natural justice

Endorsement of motions judge failed to meet minimum standards

Dispute between parties involved liability for basic structural consulting services provided by respondent to appellants. Summary judgment was granted in favour of respondent. Appellant’s counterclaim was dismissed. Appellant appealed. Appeal allowed. Judgment was set aside. Reasons of motions judge were deficient. Motions judge gave no meaningful reasons for decision. Endorsement of motions judge failed to meet minimum standards and amounted to failure by motion judge to give any reasons. Court could not conduct meaningful review of endorsement of motion judge given its inadequacy. It was not fair to decide claim and counterclaim on record before court.
Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. v. Neilas Inc. (Apr. 28, 2016, Ont. C.A., John Laskin J.A., S.E. Pepall J.A., and David Brown J.A., CA C60909) 265 A.C.W.S. (3d) 830.


Insurance

Cancellation

Insurance policy cancelled prior to motor vehicle accident

Defendant driver had been insured by insurance company S Co. prior to motor vehicle accident with plaintiff injured person C who was insured by insurance company E Group. There was coverage dispute between insurance companies on ground that defendant had cancelled her insurance policy prior to accident. Motion judge granted S Co.’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed E Group’s cross-motion for summary judgment. Judge was not convinced that s. 22(2) of Insurance Act (Ont.) imposed elevated onus on E Group to prove that cancellation was “clear and unequivocal”, but if there were such elevated onus, S Co. had satisfied it. Judge held that plaintiff was entitled to uninsured motorist coverage under plaintiff’s policy with E Group. E Group appealed. Appeal dismissed. Judge relied on evidence of records, which showed that before accident occurred, defendant requested that her policy be cancelled and received Acknowledgment of Cancellation Request. To extent that this evidence amounted to hearsay, it was admissible via business records exception. Judge’s conclusion was supported by record.
Candito v. Nmezi (April 19, 2016, Ont. C.A., Alexandra Hoy A.C.J.O., R.A. Blair J.A., and L.B. Roberts J.A., CA C61046) 265 A.C.W.S. (3d) 757.


Expropriation

Abandonment

Offer-back obligation pursuant to Expropriations Act (Ont.) not triggered

School board expropriated property from numbered company for purposes of construction and operation of school and related amenities. Board authorized its staff to implement land swap with city by which much of property would be exchanged for city lands. Company’s application alleging that board’s authorization triggered s. 41(1) of Expropriations Act (Ont.), obliging board to offer to re-convey property to it, was dismissed. Company appealed. Appeal dismissed. School board’s action did not trigger offer-back obligation in s. 41(1) of Act. Board did not abandon property when it authorized land swap with city and did not change its purposes for expropriating property. Board did not act as agent for city in expropriating property. Court undertook purposive approach to interpretation of Act. It was not court’s function to micromanage board’s actual use of property, so long as it was used as part of school site or related amenities owned by board. Application judge erred to extent of awarding full indemnity costs of board. Company’s appeal was allowed in terms of costs and award was set aside and substituted for amount of $14,000 all-inclusive.
1739061 Ontario Inc. v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (March 15, 2016, Ont. C.A., K. Feldman J.A., P. Lauwers J.A., and M.L. Benotto J.A., CA C60267) Decision at 251 A.C.W.S. (3d) 262 was affirmed. 265 A.C.W.S. (3d) 673.


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