Downey v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2002 SKQB 20

JudgeBall, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan (Canada)
Case DateJanuary 15, 2002
JurisdictionSaskatchewan
Citations2002 SKQB 20;(2002), 215 Sask.R. 228 (QB)

Downey v. RCMP (2002), 215 Sask.R. 228 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2002] Sask.R. TBEd. FE.039

Patricia Lynn Downey (plaintiff) v. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (defendant)

(2001 Q.B.G. No. 1652; 2002 SKQB 20)

Indexed As: Downey v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial Centre of Saskatoon

Ball, J.

January 15, 2002.

Summary:

Downey and her husband, an R.C.M.P. officer, divorced. The husband was awarded custody of their two children. In 1992, the husband was transferred from Saskatchewan to Quebec, which adversely affected Downey's ability to exercise access. Downey sued the R.C.M.P. for damages, apparently alleging a conspiracy between the R.C.M.P. and her husband to transfer him for the sole purpose of defeating her access rights. She alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and conspiracy. The R.C.M.P., not a suable entity, applied to strike the statement. Downey sought leave to amend her statement of claim.

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench dismissed Downey's application to amend her statement of claim. The court struck the statement of claim as disclosing no reasonable cause of action as being frivolous, vexatious and otherwise an abuse of the court's process.

Practice - Topic 2110

Pleadings - Amendment of pleadings - Adding new cause of action - Downey and her husband, an R.C.M.P. officer, divorced - The husband had custody of their children - The husband was transferred from Saskatchewan to Quebec - Downey sued the R.C.M.P. (not a suable entity) for damages, alleging a conspiracy between the R.C.M.P. and her husband to transfer him to defeat her access rights - Downey also alleged breach of fiduciary duty and negligence - Downey, who was representing herself, sought to amend her statement of claim to substitute the Attorney General as defendant, to "clearly show the cause of action against the defendant" and to provide further information to better define the issues - The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench denied leave to amend the statement of claim - Most amendments related to perceived wrongs by third parties not named as defendants - Downey was not entitled to add new parties and new issues - The nature of other amendments sought was not known - The court would not permit amendments without knowing what the amendments would be and whether they were prima facie justiciable - See paragraphs 13 to 17.

Practice - Topic 2143

Pleadings - Amendment of pleadings - Circumstances when amendment denied - [See Practice - Topic 2110 ].

Practice - Topic 2230

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - Failure to disclose a cause of action or defence - Spouses divorced - The husband, an R.C.M.P. officer, had custody of their children - The R.C.M.P. transferred the husband from Saskatchewan to Quebec - The wife sued the R.C.M.P. for damages, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and conspiracy to deprive her of her access rights - The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench struck the statement of claim as not disclosing a reasonable cause of action - It was plain and obvious that there was no chance of success - The law was clear that there could be no action against the R.C.M.P. qua employer - Further, the wife's claims were frivolous, vexatious and so lacking in merit that they were tantamount to an abuse of the court's process - See paragraphs 18 to 33.

Practice - Topic 2231

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - False, frivolous, vexatious or scandalous - [See Practice - Topic 2230 ].

Practice - Topic 2239.1

Pleadings - Striking out pleadings - Grounds - Abuse of process - Hopeless suit - [See Practice - Topic 2230 ].

Cases Noticed:

Nelson v. Brewster, [1906] 3 W.L.R. 362 (N.W.T.), refd to. [para. 14].

APM Operators Ltd., Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Mining Ltd., Texasgulf Potash Corp. and Sacc Potash Ltd. v. Allendale Mutual Insurance Co. (1984), 37 Sask.R. 156 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 15].

Royal Bank of Canada v. Roles et al. (1992), 98 Sask.R. 146 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 15].

H & R Electric Ltd. et al. v. Chieftain Industrial Contractors and Consultants Ltd. et al. (1990), 91 Sask.R. 20 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 15].

Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office v. Mitchell and Pettet (1957-58), 23 W.W.R.(N.S.) 193 (Sask. C.A.), refd to. [para. 16].

Canada (Conseil des Ports Nationaux) v. Langelier et al., [1969] S.C.R. 60, refd to. [para. 18].

Robichaud v. Canada (Attorney General) et al. (1991), 44 F.T.R. 172 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 18].

Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Sheppard (1998), 173 Sask.R. 8 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

Davies v. Dustan and Bank of Montreal (1980), 3 Sask.R. 1 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

Miller v. Moose Jaw (City) et al. (1997), 160 Sask.R. 71 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 19].

Saskatchewan Provincial Court Judges' Association et al. v. Saskatchewan (Minister of Justice) et al., [1996] 2 W.W.R. 129; 137 Sask.R. 204; 107 W.A.C. 204 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 19].

Inuit Tapirisat of Canada and National Anti-Poverty Organization v. Canada (Attorney General), [1980] 2 S.C.R. 735; 33 N.R. 304, refd to. [para. 20].

Marshall v. Saskatchewan, Petz and Adams, [1983] 2 W.W.R. 92; 20 Sask.R. 309 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

Sagon v. Royal Bank of Canada et al. (1992), 105 Sask.R. 133; 32 W.A.C. 133 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 20].

Hunt v. T & N plc et al., [1990] 2 S.C.R. 959; 117 N.R. 321, refd to. [para. 20].

Hunt v. Carey Canada Inc. - see Hunt v. T & N plc et al.

Saskatchewan Wheat Pool v. Kieling (1993), 117 Sask.R. 218 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 22].

American Hoist of Canada Ltd. v. Schule (1983), 29 Sask.R. 47 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 25].

Frame v. Smith and Smith, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 99; 78 N.R. 40; 23 O.A.C. 84; 42 D.L.R.(4th) 81; 9 R.F.L.(3d) 225, refd to. [para. 26].

British Columbia Native Women's Society v. Canada, [2000] 3 C.N.L.R. 4 (F.C.T.D.), refd to. [para. 28].

Sturkenboom v. Davies, [1997] 2 W.W.R. 11; 187 A.R. 290; 127 W.A.C. 290 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 28].

Luscar Ltd. and Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. v. Pembina Resources Ltd., [1995] 2 W.W.R. 153; 162 A.R. 35; 83 W.A.C. 35 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 28].

Firemaster Oilfield Services Ltd. v. Safety Boss (Canada) (1993) Ltd. et al., [2001] 4 W.W.R. 256 (A.R.Q.B.), refd to. [para. 28].

Lodwig v. Mather et al., [1995] 7 W.W.R. 447; 168 A.R. 390 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 28].

Barrett v. Krebs, [1995] 5 W.W.R. 23; 154 A.R. 218 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 28].

Cox v. Pemberton Holmes Ltd., [1993] 6 W.W.R. 603; 31 B.C.A.C. 84; 50 W.A.C. 83 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 28].

Donnelly v. Steward, [2001] B.C.J. No. 2072 (S.C.), refd to. [para. 28].

Hanson v. Clifford (1994), 21 B.L.R.(2d) 108 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 28].

Gregory v. Gregory (1994), 113 D.L.R.(4th) 255 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 28].

Winners Development Ltd. v. Goddard & Smith International Realty Inc., [1992] 6 W.W.R. 102 (B.C.S.C.), refd to. [para. 28].

Swerid v. McLeod Nursery Inc. et al. (1997), 117 Man.R.(2d) 140 (Q.B. Master), refd to. [para. 28].

MacDonald Estate, Re (1993), 89 Man.R.(2d) 161 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 28].

Coughlan et al. v. Westminer Canada Ltd. et al. (1994), 127 N.S.R.(2d) 241; 355 A.P.R. 241 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 28].

Knoch Estate v. Picken (Jon) Ltd. et al. (1991), 49 O.A.C. 321; 4 O.R.(3d) 385 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 28].

Stewart v. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. et al. (1997), 32 O.T.C. 321; 150 D.L.R.(4th) 24 (Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 28].

512760 Ontario Inc., Re (1992), 91 D.L.R.(4th) 719 (Ont. Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 28].

Gregoric v. Gregoric (1990), 28 R.F.L.(3d) 419 (Ont. Gen. Div.), refd to. [para. 28].

Pandolfo Management Services Ltd. et al. v. Grasslands Feeders Ltd. et al. (1993), 108 Sask.R. 213 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 28].

R.G-H. and W.G-H. v. Christison et al., [1997] 1 W.W.R. 641; 150 Sask.R. 1 (Q.B.), refd to. [para. 29].

Statutes Noticed:

Rules of Court (Sask.), Queen's Bench Rules, rule 165, rule 166, rule 167 [para. 13]; rule 173(a), rule 173(e) [para. 19].

Counsel:

Patricia Lynn Downey, on her own behalf;

Tamara Leedahl, for the Attorney General of Canada.

This application was heard before Ball, J., of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial Centre of Saskatoon, who delivered the following judgment on January 15, 2002.

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