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New Test for Summary Judgment / Dismissal

Posted by Darryl Aarbo — filed in Rule of Law

In 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada significantly changed the test for Summary Judgment / Summary Dismissal in Canada. Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7.

“…a trial is not required if a summary judgment motion can achieve a fair and just adjudication, if it provides a process that allows the judge to make the necessary findings of fact, apply the law to those facts, and is a proportionate, more expeditious and less expensive means to achieve a just result than going to trial.”

The old test was whether is was “plain and obvious”.

The Rules governing summary judgment/dismissal are now to be interpreted broadly, not strictly.

This is a pretty big change. The SCC now wants people to bring such application for early disposition of a matter to avoid a trial. This will require using other Rules, such as Demand for Particulars and Notice to Admit to establish a sufficient “record” to bring the application, also cross examinations.

The SCC relied heavily on the Ontario Rules of Court in its decision, but there is no question this is now the law in Alberta: Windsor v. Canadian Pacific Railway 2014 ABCA 108.darryl_aarbo

Darryl A. Aarbo

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