Public Trustee v. I.W., (2014) 340 N.S.R.(2d) 1 (CA)

Judge:Saunders, Oland and Bryson, JJ.A.
Court:Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
Case Date:January 30, 2014
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:(2014), 340 N.S.R.(2d) 1 (CA);2014 NSCA 10
 
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Public Trustee v. I.W. (2014), 340 N.S.R.(2d) 1 (CA);

    1077 A.P.R. 1

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Temp. Cite: [2014] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. JA.062

The Public Trustee (A Corporation Sole as constituted by the Public Trustee Act, Chapter 379, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia 1989) (appellant) v. I.W. (respondent)

(CA 414744; 2014 NSCA 10)

Indexed As: Public Trustee (N.S.) v. I.W.

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

Saunders, Oland and Bryson, JJ.A.

January 30, 2014.

Summary:

The Public Trustee was appointed manager of the property of I.W., a woman found to be "an adult in need of protection" under the Adult Protection Act. Management continued under the Public Trustee Act. I.W. was now in a long-term care facility. The Public Trustee sought an order authorizing the sale of I.W.'s home. The Public Trustee did not seek to be appointed as I.W.'s guardian under the Incompetent Persons Act. Had the Public Trustee done so, that Act empowered the court to order a sale. Although there was no similar power of sale under the Public Trustee Act or the Adult Protection Act, the Public Trustee argued that the court could order a sale under the Trustee Act and Civil Procedure Rules or by invoking its inherent jurisdiction.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court, in a judgment reported [2013] N.S.R.(2d) Uned. 92, dismissed the application. The Public Trustee appealed.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Editor's Note: Certain names in the following case have been initialized or the case otherwise edited to prevent the disclosure of identities where required by law, publication ban, Maritime Law Book's editorial policy or otherwise.

Courts - Topic 2004

Jurisdiction - General principles - Inherent jurisdiction (incl. parens patriae jurisdiction and jurisdiction to stay an action) - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal stated that "Generally speaking, the court's inherent jurisdiction cannot overcome legislative clarity" - See paragraph 66.

Courts - Topic 2004

Jurisdiction - General principles - Inherent jurisdiction (incl. parens patriae jurisdiction and jurisdiction to stay an action) - [See Persons of Unsound Mind - Topic 743 ].

Guardian and Ward - Topic 802

Public trustee or guardian - General - Nature and status of - [See Persons of Unsound Mind - Topic 743 ].

Persons of Unsound Mind - Topic 743

Committees (incl. substitute decision maker) - Powers and duties - Mortgage, sale or disposal of estate assets - The Public Trustee was appointed manager of the property of I.W., a woman found to be "an adult in need of protection" under the Adult Protection Act - Management continued under the Public Trustee Act - I.W. was now in a long-term care facility - The Public Trustee sought an order authorizing the sale of I.W.'s home without applying to be appointed as I.W.'s guardian under the Incompetent Persons Act - Had the Public Trustee done so, that Act empowered the court to order a sale - Although there was no similar power of sale under the Public Trustee Act or the Adult Protection Act, the Public Trustee argued that the court could order a sale under the Trustee Act and Civil Procedure Rules or by invoking its inherent jurisdiction - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal affirmed that absent being appointed as guardian, there was no jurisdiction to authorize the sale - The Public Trustee's status as manager did not authorize the Public Trustee to sell real property - The Public Trustee, as manager, was the statutory agent of the incompetent person, not a trustee vested with property - Accordingly, the court's jurisdiction under the Trustee Act to augment a trustee's powers did not apply - Also, the Public Trustee could not invoke the court's inherent jurisdiction to supplement a trust status not possessed by the Public Trustee.

Cases Noticed:

Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Bankrupt), Re, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 27; 221 N.R. 241; 106 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 26].

Mime'j Seafoods Ltd. v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (N.S.) et al. (2007), 260 N.S.R.(2d) 127; 831 A.P.R. 127; 2007 NSCA 115, refd to. [para. 26].

Sharbern Holding Inc. v. Vancouver Airport Centre Ltd. et al. (2011), 416 N.R. 1; 306 B.C.A.C. 1; 516 W.A.C. 1; 2011 SCC 23, refd to. [para. 26].

Friesen v. Minister of National Revenue, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 103; 186 N.R. 243, refd to. [para. 33].

Zeitel and Henning v. Ellscheid et al., [1994] 2 S.C.R. 142; 165 N.R. 214; 71 O.A.C. 134, refd to. [para. 33].

Halifax (Regional Municipality) v. Ofume (2003), 218 N.S.R.(2d) 234; 687 A.P.R. 234; 2003 NSCA 110, refd to. [para. 45].

Deloisio v. Dolejs (1994), 137 N.S.R.(2d) 368; 391 A.P.R. 368 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 53].

Robinson, Re (1886), 31 Ch. D. 247, refd to. [para. 54].

F. v. West Berkshire Health Authorty, [1989] 2 All E.R. 545, refd to. [para. 55].

K's Settlement Trusts, Re, [1969] 1 All E.R. 194, refd to. [para. 56].

Grimmett's Trusts, Re (1887), 56 L.J. Ch. 419, refd to. [para. 56].

O'Brien, Re (1958), 15 D.L.R.(2d) 484 (N.S.S.C.), refd to. [para. 59].

College Housing Co-Operative Ltd. et al. v. Baxter Student Housing Ltd. et al., [1976] 2 S.C.R. 475; 5 N.R. 515, refd to. [para. 67].

Goodwin et al. v. Rodgerson et al. (2002), 210 N.S.R.(2d) 42; 659 A.P.R. 42; 2002 NSCA 137, refd to. [para. 69].

Ocean v. Economical Mutual (2009), 281 N.S.R.(2d) 201; 893 A.P.R. 201; 2009 NSCA 81, refd to. [para. 70].

Eve, Re, [1986] 2 S.C.R. 388; 71 N.R. 1; 61 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 273; 185 A.P.R. 273, refd to. [para. 73].

R. v. Martin (1854), 2 N.S.R. 322 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 77].

Wood v. British Columbia (Public Trustee) (1986), 25 D.L.R.(4th) 356 (B.C.C.A.), refd to. [para. 80].

Cunningham et al. v. Public Trustee (Alta.) (1964), 46 D.L.R.(2d) 659 (Alta. C.A.), refd to. [para. 80].

Sefton, Re (1898), 2 Ch. 378 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 81].

Chapman v. Chapman, [1954] 1 All E.R. 798 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 85].

Creelman Estate, Re (1973), 13 N.S.R.(2d) 577; 9 A.P.R. 577; 40 D.L.R.(3d) 306 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 89].

Nathanson Estate, Re (1971), 4 N.S.R.(2d) 113 (T.D.), dist. [para. 95].

Wright v. Saunders, [1994] N.S.J. No. 412 (C.A.), dist. [para. 96].

Statutes Noticed:

Adult Protection Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 2, sect. 13 [para. 2]; sect. 14A [para. 21].

Civil Procedure Rules (N.S.), rule 47.14 [para. 52]; rule 71.01 [para. 44].

Rules of Civil Procedure (N.S.) - see Civil Procedure Rules (N.S.).

Rules of Court (N.S.) - see Civil Procedure Rules (N.S.).

Trustee Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 479, sect. 31(1), sect. 32, sect. 36 [para. 62]; sect. 51(1) [para. 58].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Murdoch, Beamish, Epitome of the Laws of Nova Scotia (1833), vol. 4, p. 44 [para. 75].

Robertson, Gerald B., Mental Disability and The Law in Canada (2nd Ed. 1994), pp. 8 [para. 78]; 82 [para. 92]; 84 [para. 93]; 88 to 89 [para. 80]; 124 [para. 78].

Scott, Austin, The Law on Trusts (3rd Ed. 1967), vol. 1, pp. 71 to 72 [para. 90].

Waters, Donovan, Law of Trusts in Canada (4th Ed. 2012), pp. 877 to 883 [para. 64]; 1363 [para. 83]; 1370 [para. 61].

Counsel:

Peter C. McVey and Shannon Ingraham-Christie, for the appellant;

No one appearing for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on September 23, 2013, at Halifax, N.S., before Saunders, Oland and Bryson, JJ.A., of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

On January 30, 2014, Bryson, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the Court of Appeal.

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