Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court of Canada’

Happy Trails and Happy Trials: Supreme Court of Canada Rules On the Test for Summary Judgment

January 23, 2014

 Today’s Supreme Court of Canada decisions on the summary judgment appeals in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7 and  Bruno Appliance and Furniture, Inc. v. Hryniak2014 SCC 8  offer a somewhat less than “full appreciation” of the test summary judgment established by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. [See my backgrounder on the Court of Appeal for Ontario's "full appreciation" test  here.] 
(more…)

Tanya J. Monestier, “Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments”

January 16, 2014

Tanya J. Monestier (Roger Williams University School of Law) has published “Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments”, The Advocates’ Quarterly, Vol. 42, p. 107, 2013/ Roger Williams Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 143. Here’s the abstract:

In April 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in what has become the pivotal case on personal jurisdiction in Canada, Van Breda v. Club Resorts Ltd. In Van Breda, the Court laid out a new framework for, and defined more precisely the content of, the “real and substantial connection” test that governs the assertion of jurisdiction over ex juris defendants. Specifically, the Court created four presumptive connecting factors that courts are to use in jurisdictional determinations. The presumptive connecting factors approach to jurisdiction was intended to increase certainty and predictability in jurisdictional determinations.

One issue that was alluded to, but ultimately left unanswered, by the Supreme Court in Van Breda was what effect the new presumptive factors framework for the real and substantial connection test had on the enforcement of judgments. Since the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Morguard Investments Ltd. v. De Savoye in 1990, it is well established law that the real and substantial connection test for jurisdiction simpliciter is intended to be “correlated” with the real and substantial connection test used as a predicate for enforcing foreign judgments. Does this mean that courts are now supposed to use the new Van Breda framework for jurisdiction simpliciter in the judgment enforcement context? This article argues that the real and substantial connection framework established by the Court in Van Breda for jurisdiction simpliciter should not be exported outside of the particular context in which it was developed. The Van Breda approach to jurisdiction simpliciter, although seemingly straightforward, is actually a blunt tool for assessing jurisdiction – and any concerns with its application would only be magnified if applied to the enforcement of foreign judgments.

A copy of the article is available at SSRN here.

Ontario plaintiff’s claim against Mexican hotel for ATV accident stayed for lack of jurisdiction

October 24, 2013
Image via Daryl Cagle's The Cagle Post, Cartoons and Commentary

Image via Daryl Cagle’s The Cagle Post, Cartoons and Commentary

In Haufler v. Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, 2013 ONSC 6044 (CanLII),  the Plaintiff was injured while riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) . She was immediately flown back to Canada for treatment.  The Plaintiff then sued the ATV excursion operator in negligence, but the company is bankrupt. The Plaintiff also sued the Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Luca [the "Hotel Riu"] where the Plaintiff and the other vacationers stayed during the tragic Mexican vacation. The Hotel Riu then moved for a stay of the action based upon lack of jurisdiction simpliciter, or, alternatively, Ontario was forum non conveniens.

The case is unremarkable, except for the fact that it languished for seven years, while the parties awaited the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Club Resorts Limited v. Van Breda.[1], which established a refined test for the assumption of jurisdiction based on a “real and substantial” connection between the foreign defendant and the forum asserting jurisdiction., requiring the plaintiff to demonstrate the existence of one of four rebuttable presumptive connecting factors before a Canadian court will assume jurisdiction over an action involving a foreign defendant.

Quigley J. rejected  the Plaintiff’s claim that the Hotel carried on business in Canada, either on its own, or through agency relationships, noting that even if the Hotel: “…engaged in a considerable amount of business with Ontarians, the existing legal relationships between the Hotel, the owner of the Hotel,  and Sunquest Tours at the end of the line in Canada are not sufficient to establish that the Hotel carries on business in Ontario.” (at para. 7).

The Plaintiff’s arguments to establish a virtual connection to Ontario based upon advertising brochures, physical presence of some Hotel Riu representatives in Ontario, or website advertising also failed.

Quigley J. concludes:

[76]         In conclusion, on this aspect of the motion, I agree with the moving party, the Hotel, that there is virtually no connection to Ontario in this case. The tort action itself involves the alleged negligent operation of an ATV excursion in Mexico by a Mexican entity that offered the excursion in Mexico, Rancho Tours. In its action, the plaintiffs seek to attach legal responsibility for those events to this foreign defendant, the Hotel. Plainly the tort did not take place in Ontario, and the Hotel is a resident and domiciliary of Mexico. As such, Ontario could only assume jurisdiction over this litigation under the test established in Van Breda provided one of the two remaining connecting factors applied. In order for either of those two factors to apply, a contract entered into in Ontario regarding the subject matter of this litigation would have to exist, or there would need to be evidence that the Hotel was carrying on business in Ontario.

[77]         However, as the foregoing analysis shows, the only contracts of relevance here were made in Mexico. There was no contract concluded in Ontario between the Hotel and these plaintiffs. Their contract was with an independent third-party, Thomas Cook or its Sunquest Vacations alter ego. Further to this, the plaintiffs have failed to discharge the burden that rests upon them alone to show on the evidence that the Hotel carries on business in Ontario. At most, as the defendants argued, a separate company which markets the Riu trademark does occasional business with the Canadian business, Thomas Cook. But even this cannot provide the necessary connection as any existing connection is unrelated to the subject matter of the litigation. Given the absence of any of the four connecting factors required by Van Breda, Ontario cannot assume jurisdiction over this litigation and the motion to stay this action is therefore granted.

Foreign judgments not subject to limitation periods, Ontario Court rules

October 2, 2013
Salvador Dali, Melting Clock

Salvador Dali, Melting Clock

In a ground-breaking decision, Mr. Justice Newbould in PT ATPK Resources TBK (Indonesia) v. Diversified Energy and Resource Corporation et al., 2013 ONSC 5913 (Ont. S.C.J.-Commercial List) (“ATPK”) held that truly foreign judgments (i.e. non-inter-provincial judgments or U.K. judgments subject to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments (U.K.) Act,  RSO 1990, c R.6 (as am.) (REJUKA)) are not subject to any limitation period for recognition and enforcement purposes.

In ATPK, the applicant, PT ATPK RESOURCES TBK (Indonesia) (“ATPK”) applied for “registration” and enforcement against Hopaco Properties Limited (“Hopaco”) of two judgments of the High Court of the Republic of Singapore. Of course, “registration” is a misnomer, since Canada and Singapore have not entered into any bi-lateral enforcement treaty, such that recognition or enforcement is governed under traditional Canadian conflict of laws principles. (more…)

Assuming Jurisdiction in Tort Cases Over Non-Contracting Parties

May 27, 2013

Trillium v. General Motors of Canada et al, 2013 ONSC 2289 (CanLII) ["Trillium"] attempts to answer the lingering question of how and when will a court assume jurisdiction in a tort case over contractual non-parties. (more…)


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