Judgement (Sufficient Reasons)

From Riverview Legal Group


Caselaw.Ninja, Riverview Group Publishing 2021 ©
Date Retrieved: 2022-10-07
CLNP Page ID: 408
Page Categories: [Ontario Small Claims Court], [Appeals]
Citation: Judgement (Sufficient Reasons), CLNP 408, <>, retrieved on 2022-10-07
Editor: Sharvey
Last Updated: 2022/09/13


Edelenbos v. Bandula, 2015 ONSC 354 (CanLII)[1]

Sufficiency of Reasons

[15] The Supreme Court of Canada addressed the issue of sufficiency of reasons in R. v. Shepherd, 2002 SCC 26 (CanLII), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 869[2]. As Binnie J. stated at para. 55 (i):
The delivery of reasoned decisions is inherent in the judge’s role. It is part of his or her accountability for the discharge of the responsibilities of the office. In its most general sense, the obligation to provide reasons for a decision is owed to the public at large.

[1] [2]

Hasselsjo v. Effort Trust, 2019 ONSC 990 (CanLII)[3]

[21] Even if an appeal is restricted to questions of law, a finding of fact in the absence of reliable evidence or a serious misapprehension of the evidence can constitute an error of law: e.g. Manpel v. Greenwin Property Management[4].

...

[37] Based on his findings in paragraph 25, 26, 27, and 32-33, the Member accepted and relied on such allegations without an analysis as to whether any or all of that conduct constituted a “substantial” interference, or whether, similar to the Landlord in G.G. v. J.C., it was in the same category as having been refused a quote for insurance which constituted “interference” but not to the degree of “substantial”. Further, the Board observed in paragraph 26 that “one certainly should not be faulted for pursuing legal avenues” but then the Board did just that by inferring, in the absence of evidence, that the Tenant was “abusing legal processes for the purpose of deterring anyone that might assist the Landlord with respect to the pest control efforts.” There is, however, no evidence that anyone was actually deterred by the Tenant’s actions. Any such interference was purely speculative. In the absence of any analysis as to the degree to which the litigation conduct constituted a “substantial” interference, the Board committed an error in law.

[3] [4]

Ontario Football Conference v. Brampton Minor Football Association, 2020 ONSC 1061 (CanLII)[5]

[2] Although the Notice of Appeal seeks other relief, in oral argument at Brampton on February 14, 2020, counsel for the BMFA clarified that the remedy sought is a new trial.

[3] This is a relatively rare instance where the other two parties to the litigation, (i) the Plaintiff, Ontario Football Conference (“OFC”), and (ii) the added Defendant or Third Party, Ian Smith (“Smith), also agree that the Judgment cannot stand, though for different reasons than those advanced by the BMFA. The OFC and Smith have both cross-appealed on the issue of costs in the Court below.

[14] The BMFA argues that the Deputy Judge (i) denied it procedural fairness and natural justice in deciding the case in the absence of considering its lengthy written closing submissions dated December 20, 2017 and (ii) delivered insufficient reasons.

[23] The fundamental principles associated with the administration of justice and civil procedure include the need to ensure that justice not only be done but be seen to be done, following a procedure that is just and fair. The duty of procedural fairness requires that litigants have the opportunity to present their case fully and fairly. Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 1999 CanLII 699 (SCC), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817 (S.C.C.), at paragraph 28[6]; Ariston Realty Corp. v. Elcarim Inc., [2007] O.J. No. 1497 (S.C.J.), at paragraph 29.[7]

[24] None of us really knows what happened here. It was, undoubtedly, an innocent mishap that may have been contributed to by the manner in which the BMFA’s closing submissions were filed, or an incorrect court file number attached to those submissions, or something else. It matters not. Though entirely unintentional, there was a clear and serious denial of procedural fairness.

[37] Looking at the Deputy Judge’s Endorsement as a whole, there is no discernible pathway in the reasons to the conclusion that the BMFA, while separate from the Bears, is responsible in law to pay the Bears’ fees owing to the OFC.

[38] In addition, the Endorsement leaves the reader wondering what happened with the Third Party Claim. There is no express disposition of it, whether allowed or dismissed. More important, the comments of the Deputy Judge suggest that there was assumed to be a requirement that Smith intentionally and knowingly acted beyond his authority with the BMFA. The Deputy Judge makes comments like “[i]t is not implausible in the circumstances that Smith was mistaken and acted beyond his jurisdiction as President of BMFA”, but “he believed he was acting as President of BMFA”, and regardless “[n]othing in the evidence suggests Smith ever intended to take on the Bears or other liabilities (or profits for that matter) personally”.

[39] With much respect for the Deputy Judge, there was no requirement that Smith intentionally and knowingly acted beyond his authority. The principal basis for the Third Party Claim, as drafted, was that Smith simply did in fact exceed his authority.

[40] Further, there was never any requirement that Smith intended to be personally liable for the Bears’ debt. That was irrelevant to both the Claim and the Third Party Claim.

[41] Given the reasons as they are, I am not able to determine whether the Deputy Judge erred in the conclusions that were reached, both with regard to the Claim and the Third Party Claim. The reasons are not capable of meaningful appellate review. They are, in my opinion, insufficient in these circumstances.

III. Conclusion

[42] For all of the aforementioned reasons, the Appeal is allowed. A new trial is ordered.

[5] [6] [7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Edelenbos v. Bandula, 2015 ONSC 354 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/gg2gc>, retrieved on 2022-09-13
  2. 2.0 2.1 R. v. Sheppard, 2002 SCC 26 (CanLII), [2002] 1 SCR 869, <https://canlii.ca/t/51t4>, retrieved on 2022-09-13
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hasselsjo v. Effort Trust, 2019 ONSC 990 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/hxfgd>, retrieved on 2022-09-13
  4. 4.0 4.1 Manpel v. Greenwin Property Management, 2005 CanLII 25636 (ON SCDC), <https://canlii.ca/t/1l6gn>, retrieved on 2022-09-13
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ontario Football Conference v. Brampton Minor Football Association, 2020 ONSC 1061 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/j5jlr>, retrieved on 2020-09-27
  6. 6.0 6.1 Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 1999 CanLII 699 (SCC), [1999] 2 SCR 817, <https://canlii.ca/t/1fqlk>, retrieved on 2022-09-13
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ariston Realty Corp. v. Elcarim Inc., 2007 CanLII 13360 (ON SC), <https://canlii.ca/t/1r7zd>, retrieved on 2022-09-13