Ocean Harvesters v. Quinlan Bros., (1974) 1 N.R. 527 (SCC)

JudgeRitchie, Spence, Pigeon, Laskin and Dickson, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateJuly 16, 1970
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1974), 1 N.R. 527 (SCC)

Ocean Harvesters v. Quinlan Bros. (1974), 1 N.R. 527 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

Ocean Harvesters Ltd. v. Quinlan Brothers Ltd.

Indexed As: Ocean Harvesters Ltd. v. Quinlan Brothers Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada

Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Laskin and Dickson, JJ.

March 18, 1974.

Summary:

This case arose out of a claim for a declaration that the title to a parcel of land was extinguished. A landowner incorporated a "one man" company to carry on the landowner's fish business. The company occupied and used the land for part of each year from 1943 to 1968. Title to the land was retained by the landowner and was not transferred to the "one man" company. The "one man" company paid for maintenance and minor improvements to the land. The company had occupancy of the land for part of each year - see paragraph 5. The landowner died in 1962. The plaintiff, a successor to the "one man" company, claimed title to the land which was occupied by the "one man" company and its successors for more than 21 years. The trial court in an unreported judgment of Higgins, J., dated July 16, 1970, declared that the plaintiff had acquired title to the land by virtue of possession of the land for over twenty years and by virtue of sections 3 and 4 of the Limitation of Actions (Realty) Act. On appeal from the judgment of Higgins, J., the appeal was allowed by the Newfoundland Court of Appeal - see (1971), 1 N. & P.E.I.R. 609. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the appeal was dismissed and the judgment of the Newfoundland Court of Appeal was affirmed.

The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the plaintiff failed to establish exclusive possession to the land in question so as to create a tenancy at will. The plaintiff was required to establish a tenancy at will in order to extinguish landowner's title pursuant to the Limitation of Actions (Realty) Act - see paragraphs 4 and 5.

Real Property - Topic 5993

Extinguishment of title - Limitation of actions - Creation of a tenancy at will - Whether the plaintiff and its predecessors had exclusive possession of land in order to create a tenancy at will - A landowner incorporated a "one man" company to carry on the landowner's fish business - The landowner retained title to the land but permitted the company to use the land for over twenty years - Newfoundland Limitation of Actions (Realty) Act - The plaintiff purchased the landowner's fish business and claimed title to the land - The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the plaintiff's claim because the plaintiff could not establish exclusive possession of the land so as to create a tendency at will which was required in order to extinguish the landowner's title.

Landlord and Tenant - Topic 1076

Tenancy at will defined - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that a tenancy at will is created when one person permits another person to take exclusive possession of land on the agreement, express or implied, that the tenancy is determinable at the will of either person - See paragraph 1.

Words and Phrases

Exclusive possession - The Supreme Court of Canada discussed the meaning of the words "exclusive possession" in the law of landlord and tenant - See paragraph 5.

Cases Noticed:

Lynes v. Snaith (1899), 1 Q.B. 486, folld. [para. 1].

Errington v. Errington (1952), 1 All E.R. 149, folld. [para. 1].

Cobb v. Lane (1952), 1 All E.R. 1199, folld. [para. 1].

Gray v. Richford (1878), 2 S.C.R. 431, folld. [para. 1].

Allen v. England (1862), 3 F & F 49, folld. [para. 1].

Radaich v. Smith (1959), 101 C.L.R. 209, folld. [para. 1].

Wills v. Steer (1904-1911), 9 Nfld. L.R. 228, dist. [para. 1].

Thomas v. Sorrell (1674), Vaugh. 330, folld. [para. 5].

Statutes Noticed:

Limitation of Actions (Realty) Act, R.S.N. 1952, c. 145, sect. 3 and sect. 4 [para. 1].

Counsel:

P.J. Lewis, Q.C. and P.W. Davidson, for the appellant;

John J. O'Neill, Q.C., for the respondent.

The judgment of the court was delivered by DICKSON, J.

To continue reading

Request your trial