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Equity - Laches

. Kloos v. Tangas

In Kloos v. Tangas (Ont CA, 2016) the court made the following brief but salutory comments on the doctrine of laches:
[11] We disagree. At the hearing, appellant’s counsel acknowledged that the timing of events in this case brought them within the analytical framework regarding laches described by this court in Perry, Farley & Onyschuk v. Outerbridge Management Ltd. (2001), 2001 CanLII 5678 (ON CA), 54 O.R. (3d) 131 (Ont. C.A.). In Perry, at para. 36, this court stated: “A party relying on the defence [of laches] must show a combination of delay and prejudice.” Accordingly, delay, standing alone, could not give rise to laches.
. Van Allen v Vos

In Van Allen v Vos (Ont CA, 2014) the Court of Appeal comments on a laches argument:
[35] The same is true for the appellant’s laches and estoppel arguments. The doctrine of laches provides a defence to an equitable claim where the plaintiff’s delay in bringing a claim constitutes acquiescence or results in circumstances that make prosecution of the action unreasonable: M. (K.) v. M. (H.), 1992 CanLII 31 (SCC), [1992] 3 S.C.R. 6, at pp. 77-78. However, a plaintiff cannot acquiesce without knowledge of the facts giving rise to her claim: ibid., at p. 78. The respondent here lacked this requisite knowledge.
. Cosentino v. Roiatti

In Cosentino v. Roiatti (Div Ct, 2006) the Divisional Court considered the equitable doctrine of laches in the context of a solicitor suing for his fees:
[29] The Supreme Court of Canada in M.(K.) v. M. (H.) reviewed the equitable doctrine of laches. The court adopted the formulation of the doctrine which provides that a defendant can successfully resist an equitable claim made against him if he can demonstrate that the plaintiff, by delaying the institution or prosecution of his case, has either:
(a) acquiesced in the defendant’s conduct,

(b) caused the defendant to alter his position in reasonable reliance of the plaintiff’s acceptance of the status quo, or

(c) otherwise permitted a situation to arise which would be unjust to disturb. See M. (K.) v. M. (H.,) 1992 CanLII 31 (SCC), [1992] 3 S.C.R. 6 para. 98.
[30] Ultimately, laches must be resolved as a matter of justice between the parties, as is the case with any equitable doctrine M. (K.) v. M. (H.), supra, para. 98.


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