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Stays - General

. Waxman v. Waxman

In Waxman v. Waxman (Ont CA, 2022) the Court of Appeal considered a permanent stay as a remedy at trial for non-disclosure of litigation-related settlements which the court held to be an abuse of process:
[42] The appellants argue that an automatic stay is a “draconian” remedy for abuse of process in a case such as this and that the motion judge should have exercised his discretion to redress the failure to disclose through other means.

[43] The appellants further submit that while an automatic stay may be justified in the face of Mary Carter agreements that are not disclosed, in this case, “the plaintiffs did nothing wrong and did not deceive or mislead anyone.” They argue the motion judge erred by applying an automatic stay in these circumstances without considering the alternatives.

[44] I disagree.

[45] In Aecon, MacFarland J.A. stated, at para. 16:
The obligation of immediate disclosure is clear and unequivocal. It is not optional. Any failure of compliance amounts to abuse of process and must result in consequences of the most serious nature for the defaulting party. Where, as here, the failure amounts to abuse of process, the only remedy to redress the wrong is to stay the Third Party proceedings and of course, by necessary implication, the Fourth Party proceedings commenced at the instance of the Third Party. Only by imposing consequences of the most serious nature on the defaulting party is the court able to enforce and control its own process and ensure that justice is done between and among the parties. To permit the litigation to proceed without disclosure of agreements such as the one in issue renders the process a sham and amounts to a failure of justice. [Emphasis added.]
[46] Citing Aecon, the motion judge reiterated, at para. 44, “The Court of Appeal described the obligation to disclose as clear and unequivocal and noted that its breach constituted an abuse of process. Only by imposing a stay is the court able to control and enforce its own process to ensure that justice is done.”

[47] I see no basis on the facts of this case to depart from the clear consequences for a breach of this principle set out by this court in Aecon and affirmed a number of times since then, including in Handley Estate, at para. 45, and most recently in Tallman, at para. 28. In Tallman, after imposing the automatic stay as the only remedy appropriate for an undisclosed settlement agreement, the court added, at para. 28, “This remedy is designed to achieve justice between the parties. But it does more than that – it also enables the court to enforce and control its own process by deterring future breaches of this well-established rule.”



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