Archive for the ‘presence-based jurisdiction’ Category

Ontario appeal court allows appeal, lifts stay in Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corp.

December 17, 2013

Chevron Corporation

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has just released its judgment in Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758; (“Yaiguaje“) a significant conflict of laws decision which will have major repercussions beyond cross-border and international litigation.

For a backgrounder, see Alejandro Manevich’s guest post: Lago Agrio comes to Ontario: Chevron and the $19B judgment and also my guest posts: The Motions to Dismiss inYaiguaje, and Comments on the Lago Agrio Plaintiffs Enforcement Action in Canada over at Ted Folkman’s Letters Blogatory.


Two Important Ontario Attornment Decisions

September 16, 2013

The first decision is from the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Van Damme v. Gelber2013 ONCA 388  (Ont. C.A.) per  Doherty, J.A. (Cronk and Lauwers JJ.A. concurring). In Van Damme, the plaintiff, a successful businessman and philanthropist obtained judgment in the Supreme Court of New York against the defendant, Nahum Gelber (“Gelber”), relating to Van Damme’s purchase of a painting from Gelber. The painting was being held in Ontario pursuant to an Ontario court order.  Van Damme successfully moved in the Ontario proceeding for an order of recognition and enforcement New York judgment in Ontario and a variation of the earlier Ontario order directing that the painting be released to him, with costs on a substantial indemnity basis. (more…)

The Lawyers Weekly article discusses Ont. C.A. decision in Wang v. Lin

March 6, 2013

As a follow-up to my recent post on the Court of Appeal for Ontario decision in Wang v. Lin, I’m quoted in an article by Christopher Guly in the The Lawyers Weekly March 8-13 issue: “When family breakdown spans the globe, from China to Canada“.

Ontario Court of Appeal: Jurisdiction Simpliciter Established by Defendant’s Residence in Ontario and Attornment

February 26, 2013
Court of Appeal window

Court of Appeal window (Photo credit: lancea)

The Court of Appeal for Ontario in Zhang v. Hua Hai Li Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., 2013 ONCA 103 (CanLII), has reaffirmed that jurisdiction simpliciter is established by presence-based jurisdiction and consent-based jurisdiction (delivery of a Statement of Defence and other merit-based steps constitute attornment):

[5]         In our view, the appeal should be dismissed but for reasons different from those given by the motion judge.

[6]         This is not a jurisdictional case.  The respondents live and were served in Ontario and the Ontario courts accordingly have jurisdiction.  It is also significant that before the respondents brought the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, the appellants filed a statement of defence and took other steps in connection with the action.  Even if the appellants had not been served within Ontario, they have attorned to the jurisdiction.

[7]         The forum non conveniens issue is not relevant.

[8]         We see no merit in this appeal and it is therefore dismissed.

“Ordinary Residence” and “Habitual Residence” are the applicable jurisdictional tests in family law disputes, Ontario appeal court rules

January 24, 2013

The Court of Appeal for Ontario in Wang v. Lin, 2013 ONCA 33 (CanLII) has held that the presumptive factors in  Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda2012 SCC 17 (CanLII), 2012 SCC 17, [2012] 1 S.C.R. 572 (S.C.C.) do not fit within the established statutory scheme for asserting jurisdiction in family law matters under the Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.); the Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3 (the “FLA”); and the Children’s Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12 (the “CLRA”). Rather, “ordinary residence” and “habitual residence” (arguably, “presence-based jurisdiction”) are the applicable jurisdictional tests under the Divorce Act and the CLRA,respectively:

[46] Turning to whether Ontario has jurisdiction under the common law test that requires a real and substantial connection, I agree with the parties that, in the context of marriage breakdown, the presumptive connecting factors are necessarily different from those identified by the Supreme Court in Van Breda in the context of a tort case. The Supreme Court in Van Breda was clear that the list of presumptive factors it identified related to tort claims and issues associated with those claims, and that the list of presumptive connecting factors is not closed. At para. 91, the court directed that:

In identifying new presumptive factors, a court should look to connections that give rise to a relationship with the forum that is similar in nature to the ones which result from the listed factors. Relevant considerations include:

(a) Similarity of the connecting factor with the recognized connecting factors;

(b) Treatment of the connecting factor in the case law;

(c) Treatment of the connecting factor in statute law; and

(d) Treatment of the connecting factor in the private international law of other legal systems with shared commitment to order, fairness and comity.

[47] While they differ in their view as to where, in this case, the “real home” or ordinary residence of the mother is, both parties submit that the location of the “real home” or “ordinary residence” should be a presumptive connecting factor. This in my view makes eminently good sense. Ordinary residence and habitual residence are the jurisdictional tests under the Divorce Act and the CLRA, respectively. Accepting the “real home” or “ordinary residence” as a presumptive connecting factor, and having concluded that the motion judge did not err in finding that the mother was not ordinarily resident in Ontario, I agree with the motion judge that “[t]he facts of this case do not support the existence of a presumptive connecting factor that would entitle this court to presume jurisdiction.” The mother therefore did not satisfy the “real and substantial connection test”, and the courts of Ontario do not have jurisdiction over the mother’s corollary claims under the FLA. Given this, it is not necessary to address the parties’ arguments on the issue of forum non conveniens.


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