Comeau v. Boudreau Estate, (1999) 179 N.S.R.(2d) 186 (ProbCt)

Judge:Haliburton, J.
Court:Nova Scotia Probate Court
Case Date:January 27, 1999
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:(1999), 179 N.S.R.(2d) 186 (ProbCt)
 
FREE EXCERPT

Comeau v. Boudreau Estate (1999), 179 N.S.R.(2d) 186 (ProbCt);

    553 A.P.R. 186

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [1999] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. SE.004

Louise Comeau (plaintiff) v. Estate of Clifford Boudreau by its executor Gary Stuart (defendant)

(No. 2677)

Indexed As: Comeau v. Boudreau Estate

Nova Scotia Probate Court

Haliburton, J.

June 21, 1999.

Summary:

Comeau sought one-half of Boudreau's estate on the basis of constructive trust, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit for services performed by Comeau during a 15 year relationship.

The Nova Scotia Probate Court allowed the claim for unjust enrichment and awarded Comeau $16,000.

Executors and Administrators - Topic 5700

Actions by and against representatives - Evidence - Claim by or against estate - Corroboration requirement - Comeau sought one-half of Boudreau's estate on the basis of, inter alia, unjust enrichment for services performed by Comeau for Boudreau during a 15 year relationship - The estate argued that Comeau could not recover a judgment "against the estate" unless her evidence was corroborated in material particulars (Evidence Act, s. 45) - The Nova Scotia Probate Court held that s. 45 did not bar a claim for unjust enrich­ment - A claim for unjust enrichment did not arise from any agreement or implied contract, nor did it arise from any ac­know­ledgment or admission by the bene­fi­ciary of that enrichment - See paragraphs 15 to 17.

Restitution - Topic 62

Unjust enrichment - General - What consti­tutes - Comeau sought one-half of Boudreau's estate on the basis of, inter alia, unjust enrichment for services per­formed by Comeau for Boudreau during a 15 year relationship - They lived together for 14.5 years in Boudreau's home - Comeau did the principal household chores - She also did the gardening and some carpentry work - The parties did not com­bine their resources or make joint invest­ments - They held property separately - They shared expenses for groceries, the electrical bill, etc. and shared tasks such as painting the house and cutting firewood - The Nova Scotia Probate Court allowed the claim for unjust enrichment - Because Comeau's efforts could not be traced to any particular property, the court made a monetary award of $16,000 ($100/month for 14.5 years) - See paragraphs 15 to 20.

Restitution - Topic 101

Unjust enrichment - Bars - General - [See Executors and Admin­istrators - Topic 5700 ].

Restitution - Topic 124

Unjust enrichment - Remedies - Damages - [See Restitution - Topic 62 ].

Restitution - Topic 782

Benefit acquired from the plaintiff - Re-covery based on quantum meruit - Condi­tions precedent - [See Restitution - Topic 784 ].

Restitution - Topic 784

Benefit acquired from the plaintiff - Re-covery based on quantum meruit - Work performed or goods provided - Comeau sought one-half of Boudreau's estate on the basis of, inter alia, quantum meruit for services performed by Comeau for Boudreau during a 15 year relationship - The Nova Scotia Probate Court dismissed the claim for quantum meruit where Comeau could not establish the existence of a contract, either actual or implied - See paragraphs 13 and 14.

Restitution - Topic 788

Benefit acquired from the plaintiff - Re­covery based on quantum meruit - Bars - [See Restitution - Topic 784 ].

Cases Noticed:

Kelly v. Bourn Estate (1981), 45 N.S.R.(2d) 167; 86 A.P.R. 167 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 13].

Burgess Estate, Re (1964), 4 N.S.R. 1965-69 361 (S.C. In Banco), refd to. [para. 13].

O'Connell Estate, Re (1980), 44 N.S.R.(2d) 181; 83 A.P.R. 181 (Prob. Ct.), refd to. [para. 15].

Peter v. Beblow, [1993] 1 S.C.R. 980; 150 N.R. 1; 23 B.C.A.C. 81; 39 W.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 15].

Statutes Noticed:

Evidence Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 154, sect. 45 [para. 14].

Counsel:

Richard W.P. Murphy, for the plaintiff;

Patricia E. Caldwell, Q.C., for the defend­ant.

This action was heard at Digby, N.S., on January 27, 1999, before Haliburton, J., of the Nova Scotia Probate Court, who delivered the following decision on June 21, 1999.

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP