Grover v. Hodgins et al.,

JurisdictionOntario
JudgeDoherty, Watt and Epstein, JJ.A.
Neutral Citation2011 ONCA 72
Citation2011 ONCA 72,(2011), 275 O.A.C. 96 (CA),103 OR (3d) 721,275 OAC 96,(2011), 275 OAC 96 (CA),275 O.A.C. 96,103 O.R. (3d) 721
Date19 November 2010
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ontario)

Grover v. Hodgins (2011), 275 O.A.C. 96 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2011] O.A.C. TBEd. FE.005

Chander Grover and Tabassum Grover (defendants/appellants/respondents by way of cross-appeal) v. John Hodgins and Ann Dorans (plaintiffs/respondents/appellants by way of cross-appeal)

(C51812; 2011 ONCA 72)

Indexed As: Grover v. Hodgins et al.

Ontario Court of Appeal

Doherty, Watt and Epstein, JJ.A.

January 27, 2011.

Summary:

The parties lived in Ontario and owned condominium units in British Columbia. They believed that the value of their units was depressed due to the poor management of the complex. A group of 12 owners, including the plaintiffs, retained a lawyer and asked him to initiate an action (BC action). The 12 owners, including the plaintiffs, agreed to a joint retainer (notwithstanding the potential conflicts of interest) and to share the legal costs of the BC action ($7,550 each). The defendants did not participate in the BC action. When the BC action came to an end, the plaintiffs sued the defendants, claiming $7,550 as damages arising from the breach of an alleged agreement to contribute to the legal costs incurred in prosecuting the BC action. In the alternative, the plaintiffs claimed they were entitled to damages on the basis of unjust enrichment.

The Ontario Small Claims Court dismissed the plaintiffs' claim in contract but allowed the claim for unjust enrichment. The defendants appealed. The plaintiffs cross-appealed.

The Ontario Divisional Court, in a decision not reported in this series of reports, dismissed the appeal. The defendants appealed. The plaintiffs cross-appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and dismissed the cross-appeal. The court set aside decisions below and dismissed the action.

Courts - Topic 7541

Provincial courts - Ontario - Small Claims Court - General - The Ontario Court of Appeal discussed the legislative history of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-43, and the establishment of the Ontario Small Claims Court - See paragraphs 34 to 49.

Courts - Topic 7545

Provincial courts - Ontario - Small Claims Court - Jurisdiction - Equitable - Section 23 of the Courts of Justice Act (Ont.) delineated the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court - It gave the court jurisdiction in any action for the payment of money or the recovery of possession of personal property with a value within the prescribed limit - Section 96 dealt with the equitable jurisdiction of all courts - The Ontario Court of Appeal held that s. 23 was a wide grant of jurisdiction - The wording "any action" was sufficiently broad so as to encompass both common law and equitable claims - This wording was also broad enough to include jurisdiction to grant equitable remedies - Sections 23, 96(1) and 96(3) were to be read as a "coherent package" - Section 23 was broad enough to allow the Small Claims Court to deal with claims in common law and equity - Under s. 96(1), the courts, including the Small Claims Court, were authorized to concurrently administer all rules of equity and the common law - It would be irrational for the legislators to give the Small Claims Court authorization to administer rules of equity and deal with claims in equity and then specifically preclude the court from granting any equitable relief - It only made sense if the wording "where otherwise provided" in s. 96(3) was interpreted to mean that the Small Claims Court was able to grant equitable relief within the limits of its jurisdiction set out in s. 23: namely, to order the payment of money or the return of personal property - See paragraphs 26 to 49.

Restitution - Topic 62

Unjust enrichment - General - What constitutes - The parties lived in Ontario and owned condominium units in British Columbia - They believed that the value of their units was depressed due to the poor management of the complex - A group of 12 owners, including the plaintiffs, retained a lawyer and asked him to initiate an action (BC action) - The 12 owners, including the plaintiffs, agreed to a joint retainer (notwithstanding the potential conflicts of interest) and to share the legal costs of the BC action ($7,550 each) - The defendants did not participate in the BC action - When the BC action came to an end, the plaintiffs sued the defendants, claiming $7,550 as damages on the basis of unjust enrichment - The deputy judge allowed the claim, holding that the defendants had been enriched by the efforts of the plaintiffs, as, following the removal of the management under which the problems had developed, they had sold their condominium unit at a significantly higher value - He also found that the plaintiffs had suffered a corresponding deprivation by paying their $7,550 share of the legal costs - Finding no juristic reason for the enrichment, he granted judgment in favour of the plaintiffs - The Ontario Court of Appeal allowed the defendants' appeal and dismissed the action - The plaintiffs met none of the requirements for unjust enrichment - First, the deputy judge erred in holding that the defendants were enriched through the efforts of the plaintiffs and the expenses they incurred to fund the BC action - Second, there was no corresponding deprivation - Third, it was not unjust for the defendants to retain the benefit given there was nothing in the record to support a conclusion that the defendants requested or otherwise indicated that they wanted the service - See paragraphs 50 to 63.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Brown (E.) (2002), 165 O.A.C. 36; 61 O.R.(3d) 619 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 14].

936464 Ontario Ltd. v. Mungo Bear Ltd. (2003), 74 O.R.(3d) 45 (Div. Ct.), consd. [para. 19].

311874 Ontario Ltd. v. 1461763 Ontario Ltd., [2006] O.J. No. 2779 (Sup. Ct.), refd to. [para. 22].

Tang v. Jarrett (2009), 251 O.A.C. 123 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 22].

Moore v. Canadian Newspapers Co. and Webster (1989), 34 O.A.C. 328; 69 O.R.(2d) 262 (Div. Ct.), dist. [para. 23, footnote 2].

Szeib v. Team Truck Centres - Freightliner, [2001] O.T.C. 439 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

P & G Electronics Ltd. v. Scottish and York Insurance Co., [1992] O.J. No. 2707 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

Gula v. Ontario Hydro, [1995] O.J. No. 2392 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

Michael Davies Plymouth Chrysler Ltd. v. Shabsove, [1995] O.J. No. 5017 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

Bell, Baker v. Wong, [1996] O.J. No. 5443 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

Canada Post Corp. v. Asquith, [1999] O.J. No. 5583 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

1346597 Ontario Ltd. v. Riddiford, [2007] O.J. No. 5502 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

Causeway View Road South Association v. Foster (2009), 91 R.P.R.(4th) 314 (Sm. Cl. Ct.), refd to. [para. 25].

Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Bankrupt), Re, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 27; 221 N.R. 241; 106 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 27].

Becker v. Pettkus, [1980] 2 S.C.R. 834; 34 N.R. 384, refd to. [para. 52].

Sharwood & Co. v. Municipal Financial Corp. et al. (2001), 142 O.A.C. 350; 53 O.R.(3d) 470 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 56].

Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Canada - see Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Ontario, [1992] 3 S.C.R. 762; 144 N.R. 1; 59 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 59].

Statutes Noticed:

Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C-43, sect. 23 [para. 17]; sect. 96 [para. 18].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Blair, Robert A., and Lang, Sandra, First Report of the Civil Justice Review (1995), generally [para. 47].

Hansard - see Ontario, Hansard, Legislative Assembly Debates.

Maddaugh, Peter D., and McCamus, John D., The Law of Restitution (2010), p. 3-17 [para. 57].

Ontario, Hansard, Legislative Assembly Debates, Standing Committee on Administration of Justice (July 31, 1989), p. J-5 [para. 38].

Watson, Garry D., and McGowan, Michael, Ontario Civil Practice 1990 (1990), generally [para. 41].

Watson, Garry D., and McGowan, Michael, Ontario Civil Practice 1996 (1995), generally [paras. 35, 43].

Counsel:

Yavar Hameed, for the appellants/respondents by way of cross-appeal;

Kellie Stewart, for the respondents/appellants by way of cross-appeal.

This appeal and cross-appeal were heard on November 19, 2010, by Doherty, Watt and Epstein, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The following judgment of the Court of Appeal was released by Epstein, J.A., on January 27, 2011.

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15 practice notes
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (June 20 ' 24, 2022)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • June 27, 2022
    ...Gas Co., 2004 SCC 25, Peel (Regional Municipality) v Canada; Peel (Regional Municipality) v Ontario, [1992] 3 SCR 762, Grover v Hodgins, 2011 ONCA 72, Birkett v Astris Energi Inc. (2004), 45 BLR (3d) 293 (Ont. CA), Accuworx Inc. v Enroute Imports Inc., 2016 ONCA 161 Bowman v. Ontario, 2022 ......
  • Intangible Justice? Intellectual Property Disputes and Canadian Small Claims Courts.
    • Canada
    • Queen's Law Journal Vol. 47 No. 2, March 2022
    • March 22, 2022
    ...2000, c P-31, s 9.6(1). (43.) See Dolmage v Erskine, supra note 17 at 519; Enrietti, supra note 17 at 380. (44.) CJA, supra note 26. (45.) 2011 ONCA 72 at para 49, leave to appeal to SCC refused, 34155 (February 2, 2012). (46.) See e.g. ibid; Latner v 1651663 Ontario Inc, 2014 ONSC 1221; St......
  • Woodbridge Homes Inc v Andrews, 2019 ABQB 585
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • August 1, 2019
    ...20, 2018. [109] I accept that Ms. Andrews benefited from the provision of these third-party materials and services: see Grover v Hodgins, 2011 ONCA 72 at paras 57-9. These are tangible benefits that were obtained in the market and actually delivered, and which clearly benefited Ms. Andrews ......
  • Broadbear v. Prothero, [2011] O.T.C. Uned. 3656 (SC)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • July 6, 2011
    ...fails to show the incontrovertible benefit from the claimed provision of her services that is required. See Grover v. Hodgins (2010), 103 O.R. (3d) 721 (C.A.), where the Court of Appeal quoted the words of McLachlin J. in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Canada , [1992] 3 S.C.R. 762 (S.C.C.)......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Woodbridge Homes Inc v Andrews, 2019 ABQB 585
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • August 1, 2019
    ...20, 2018. [109] I accept that Ms. Andrews benefited from the provision of these third-party materials and services: see Grover v Hodgins, 2011 ONCA 72 at paras 57-9. These are tangible benefits that were obtained in the market and actually delivered, and which clearly benefited Ms. Andrews ......
  • Broadbear v. Prothero, [2011] O.T.C. Uned. 3656 (SC)
    • Canada
    • Ontario Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • July 6, 2011
    ...fails to show the incontrovertible benefit from the claimed provision of her services that is required. See Grover v. Hodgins (2010), 103 O.R. (3d) 721 (C.A.), where the Court of Appeal quoted the words of McLachlin J. in Peel (Regional Municipality) v. Canada , [1992] 3 S.C.R. 762 (S.C.C.)......
  • Classic Paving Inc. v. Fresh Air Enterprises Ltd., 2014 SKPC 132
    • Canada
    • Saskatchewan Provincial Court of Saskatchewan (Canada)
    • June 13, 2014
    ...has the jurisdiction to grant this form of relief. I am satisfied that it does, and in so doing I refer specifically to Grover v. Hodgins, 2011 ONCA 72" - See paragraphs 70 to Damages - Topic 7401 Contracts - Quantum meruit - General - [See Contracts - Topic 5305 ]. Practice - Topic 9767 Sm......
  • Bruyea v. Canada (Veteran Affairs), 2019 ONCA 599
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • July 12, 2019
    ...refer to the decisions of this court in Ontario Deputy Judges Assn. v. Ontario (2006), 80 O.R. (3d) 481 (C.A.) and Grover v. Hodgins, 2011 ONCA 72, 103 O.R. (3d) 721. In my view, neither of those decisions assist the parties. In the Deputy Judges case, this court said, at para. Even though ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 firm's commentaries
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (June 20 ' 24, 2022)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • June 27, 2022
    ...Gas Co., 2004 SCC 25, Peel (Regional Municipality) v Canada; Peel (Regional Municipality) v Ontario, [1992] 3 SCR 762, Grover v Hodgins, 2011 ONCA 72, Birkett v Astris Energi Inc. (2004), 45 BLR (3d) 293 (Ont. CA), Accuworx Inc. v Enroute Imports Inc., 2016 ONCA 161 Bowman v. Ontario, 2022 ......
  • Grover v. Hodgins
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • March 2, 2011
    ...2011 ONCA 72 (Released January 27, Unjust Enrichment – Jurisdiction – Small Claims Court The Court of Appeal for Ontario held that the Small Claims Court has equitable jurisdiction for the payment of money and the return of personal property. The appellants and respondents are individuals w......
1 books & journal articles
  • Intangible Justice? Intellectual Property Disputes and Canadian Small Claims Courts.
    • Canada
    • Queen's Law Journal Vol. 47 No. 2, March 2022
    • March 22, 2022
    ...2000, c P-31, s 9.6(1). (43.) See Dolmage v Erskine, supra note 17 at 519; Enrietti, supra note 17 at 380. (44.) CJA, supra note 26. (45.) 2011 ONCA 72 at para 49, leave to appeal to SCC refused, 34155 (February 2, 2012). (46.) See e.g. ibid; Latner v 1651663 Ontario Inc, 2014 ONSC 1221; St......

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