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April 2020

COVID-19: Taking stock of urgent motions

Ashley Faust
Ashley Faust,
Associate

Egi Troka
Egi Troka,
Law Student

 

By Ashley Faust and Egi Troka

On March 15, 2020, Chief Justice Morawetz released a Notice to the Profession advising that as a result of the pandemic, the Superior Court of Justice had adjourned all scheduled civil hearings, effective March 17, 2020.

The Notice to the Profession allows for the hearing of:

  • urgent and time-sensitive motions... where immediate and significant financial repercussions may result if there is no judicial hearing, and

  • a strictly limited number of other matter(s) that the Court deems necessary and appropriate to hear on an urgent basis.

It is difficult to balance the risk of harm caused by delays with the court's limited resources and overworked administrators.

The court found that the motion was not urgent in 2 cases. In 9 other cases, categorized by topics, the court found that the motions were urgent.

NOT URGENT

Matijcio v Killick, 2020 ONSC 2058

A family law case, a motion for security for costs was not urgent.

2676547 Ontario Inc. v Elle Mortgage Corporation, 2020 ONSC 2041

The matter was not urgent as the defendants had agreed not to sell or transfer the property pending the plaintiff's litigation. The plaintiff appealed a master's order discharging a certificate of pending litigation. The plaintiff sought an urgent stay pending the appeal.

STAY PENDING APPEAL

Hrvoic v Hrvoic, 2020 ONSC 1711

As part of matrimonial litigation, Mr. Hrvoic sought to force a buyout of Ms. Hrvoic's shares in the family corporations. Ms. Hrvoic drew $600,000 on a line of credit secured against Mr. Hrvoic's house. Ms. Hrvoic sought to adjourn the application buyout. As a term of the adjournment, she was ordered to repay $500,000 of the borrowed funds by March 19. She sought a stay pending her motion for leave to appeal the term of the adjournment. The stay motion was time-sensitive and important because Ms. Hrvoic had not complied with the order to return the funds.

TENANCY RELATIONS

Oppong v Desero Holdings Inc., 2020 ONSC 1689

The applicant is a commercial tenant seeking relief from forfeiture and the return of her leased premises that she was locked out of in January 2020. Myers J ordered that the matter proceed on March 19, as scheduled prior to the closure of the court's ordinary operations. Ultimately, the matter was adjourned to March 27, as the new tenant in possession of the premises was not given notice of the proceeding (see 2020 ONSC 1697).

Chu Resto YS Inc. v Greentower Service Inc., 2020 ONSC 1721

Prior to the suspension of the court's normal operations, a motion for an interlocutory injunction had been scheduled. The tenant sought to prevent the landlord from terminating the lease. The landlord was unwilling to give an undertaking to preserve the status quo pending the motion without a new hearing date. The new hearing was set for April 10, 2020.

York Condominium Corporation No. 419 v. Black, 2020 ONSC 2098

York Condominium Corporation asks for an urgent injunction prohibiting Ms. Black from having third party tradespeople attending in the building on an interim basis during the pandemic. A majority of the condominium building's residents are seniors. The court orders, on consent, that the respondents allow no one to enter into their condominium unit until further order of the court. It does not preclude the parties from authorizing entry upon the external patio and yard exclusive use common areas. The order does not apply to government first-responders who may enter the unit in the event of an emergency.

REAL ESTATE

Ali v Tariq, 2020 ONSC 1695

The court ordered an urgent hearing for a motion to set aside a default judgment and writ of execution issued by the Small Claims Court. The write was registered against a property which was scheduled to close the next day. However, the OSCJ found that Small Claims Court had the jurisdiction to deal with the matter. The court ordered the writ discharged and sufficient funds held in trust on closing to pay the judgment, costs and interest. (See 2020 ONSC 1740).

Corfinancial Corp. v. Amazon Land Development Corp., 2020 ONSC 1879

The court made an interim order requiring a property to be sold pursuant to an agreement of purchase and sale, and orders to facilitate the sale so that the value of the equity in the property is preserved. Motion was heard on an urgent basis via teleconference.

CONTEMPT: ENFORCING JUDGMENT

Morris v Onca, 2020 ONSC 1805

Motion for contempt alleging breach of court orders by failing to produce documents as ordered and failing to answer relevant questions at an examination in aid of execution ordered to proceed via videoconference. The court dispensed with requirement for personal services (rule 60.11). In relation, 2020 ONSC 1690, the judgment creditor had evidence that debtors were actively moving assets abroad to avoid enforcement.

ELECTIONS

Karahalios v Conservative Party of Canada, 2020 ONSC 1820

Mr. Karahalios sought to challenge his disqualification as a candidate for the CPC leadership. The vote was scheduled on June 27, 2020. Although the application does not raise a strictly financial issue, it is time sensitive and the consequences have implications on the national political process in the country.

BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY ORDER

Rogerson v Havergal College, 2020 ONSC 1940

The defendants alleged that affidavits filed by plaintiff disclosed private information regarding minor children, in breach of a prior court order requiring the information be confidential. The court ordered the matter to be heard urgently due to the superordinate importance of the children's privacy interests.


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