Tag: Rule 24

Costs and "Transitional Proceedings" in the BC Supreme Court


One of the notable changes under the new BC Supreme Court Civil Rules was an increase in Tariff Costs.  If a trial occurred under the former Rules of Court but the reasons for judgement are not delivered until after the new BC Supreme Court Civil Rules came into effect which Rules govern the costs award?  Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry, addressing this question.
In this week’s case (X v. Y) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2005 motorcycle collision.  He worked as an undercover RCMP officer and as a result was given permission to have himself and witnesses referred to via initials in the reasons for judgement.  His injuries included a burst fracture in his mid-spine.  His claim for damages was successful at trial which took place under the former Rules of Court.   The reasons for judgement, however, were not released until after the new Rules came into force.
The Defendant agreed the Plaintiff was entitled to costs but argued the lesser costs under the former Rules should apply.  Madam Justice Dardi rejected this argument and awarded costs under the current Rules.  In doing so the Court provided the following reasons:

[10] Under the New Rules a transitional proceeding means a proceeding that was started before July 1, 2010.

[11] Supreme Court Civil Rule 24-1(2) states as follows:

A transitional proceeding is deemed to be a proceeding started under these Supreme Court Civil Rules.

[12] Supreme Court Civil Rule 24-1(14) states that:

If a step in a proceeding is taken before July 1, 2010, the former Supreme Court Rules apply to any right or obligation arising out of or relating to that step if and to the extent that that right or obligation is to have effect before September 1, 2010.

[13] Section 10 of Appendix B to the New Rules provides:

Without limiting section 9, Appendix B of the Supreme Court Rules, B.C. Reg. 221/90, as it read on June 30, 2010, applies to

(a) orders for costs made after December 31, 2006 and before July 1, 2010,

(b) settlements reached after December 31, 2006 and before July 1, 2010 under which payment of assessed costs is agreed to,

(c) costs payable on acceptance of an offer to settle made under Rule 37 or 37B, if that offer to settle was made after December 31, 2006 and before July 1, 2010, and

(d) all assessments related to those orders, settlements and costs.

[14] This proceeding is a transitional proceeding pursuant to Rule 24-1(2) and as such, the determination of costs is governed by Rule 14-1. Although the trial was commenced under the former Rules, the judgment in this matter was rendered on July 18, 2011. The defendants’ obligation to pay damages arose on that date. As there were no rights or obligations arising out of or relating to the trial that were to have effect before September 1, 2010, I cannot conclude that Rule 24-1(14) has any application to the determination of costs in this case.

[15] Furthermore, on a plain reading of Section 10 of Appendix B, Appendix B of the former Rules has no application to this case as there were no relevant offers or orders made prior to July 1, 2010.

[16] In the result I conclude that the New Rules govern the determination of costs in this proceeding.

New Rules of Court Update – The Transition Rule

Reasons for judgement were released today interpreting and applying Rule 24 (the transition rule).
In today’s case (Willard v. Mitchell) the Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision.  The Defendant brought a motion to compel the Plaintiff to produce various medical and business records.  The lawsuit was commenced under the former rules of court.  The motion for production was also filed under the former rules but judgement was not delivered until October, 2010.
Mr. Justice Brooke ordered production of the documents the Defendant requested.  Prior to doing so the Court stated that the former Rules of Court applied to applications filed prior to July 1, 2010.  Specifically Mr. Justice Brooke held as follows:

[24]         Both the present action and application were filed before July 1, 2010, when the new Supreme Court Rules came into effect. Rule 24?1 of the new civil rules provides that a proceeding started before that date will proceed under the new rules, with this exception:

Step in ongoing proceeding

(14)  If a step in a proceeding is taken before July 1, 2010, the former Supreme Court Rules apply to any right or obligation arising out of or relating to that step if and to the extent that that right or obligation is to have effect before September 1, 2010.

[25]         In my view, the defendant’s application for discovery of documents constitutes a step in a proceeding that was taken before July 1, 2010, and the right or obligation will have effect before September 1, 2010. Accordingly, the former Supreme Court Rules, and specifically Rule 26 governing the discovery and inspection of documents, continue to apply to this application.

New Rules of Court Get First Judicial Interpretation: The Transitional Rule

I have volunteered to keep an eye on the New BC Supreme Court Rules and write about decisions interpreting and applying these.  Today the first judgement considering the New Rules has come to my attention.  Today’s case dealt with Rule 24, the transitional rule.
In today’s case (Easton v. Cooper) the Plaintiff was involved in 3 motor vehicle collisions.  The Plaintiff sued for damages for each crash.  The lawsuits were started under the old Rules of Court but were set to proceed to trial in November, 2010 (some 5 months after the New Rules came into force).  The lawsuits were all started under Rule 68 of the old rules which required parties to exchange summaries of the evidence they expect their witnesses to give at trial.  The Plaintiff did not produce statements in compliance with this requirement.
The Defendant brought a motion to force  the Plaintiff to provide this evidence.  The Plaintiff opposed arguing that she no longer needs to exchange these statements because the trial will proceed under the new rules.  Mr. Justice Voith sided with the Defendants and ordered that the Plaintiff provide summaries of evidence as required under the old rules.  In reaching this conclusion the Court had the first opportunity that I’m aware of to consider section 24 of the New Rules of Court (the section dealing with parties obligations in lawsuits started under the old rules but that are ongoing aftger the New Rules came into force).  Mr. Justice Voith provided the following interpretation of this section:

[4]             Rule 24-1(14) of the New Rules provides:

(14)      If a step in a proceeding is taken before July 1, 2010, the former Supreme Court Rules apply to any right or obligation arising out of or relating to that step if and to the extent that that right or obligation is to have effect before September 1, 2010.

[5]             The interpretation of Rule 24-1(14) turns on both the meaning of “step in a proceeding” as well as the time period that is book-ended by the two dates within the provision…

[13]         Based on the foregoing authorities, within the “Rules context”, a “step” means a formal step expressly permitted or required by the Rules.

[14]         Rule 24-1(14) specifically focuses on a narrow window of time. It addresses instances where a step undertaken prior to July 1, 2010 gives rise to an obligation that is required to be satisfied prior to September 1, 2010. By way of example, the “step” of delivering a demand for discovery of documents created a right on the part of the initiating party and a concomitant obligation on the part of the recipient of the demand to comply with the time frames and substantive requirements of the former Rules. So long as the time frame for that obligation ends before September 1, 2010 the response or action is governed under the former Rules.

[15]         In this case Rule 24-1(14) is not engaged.

[16]         Rule 68(31) of the former Rules provided:

Witnesses

(31)      Within 90 days after the close of pleadings or within 90 days after the action becomes an expedited action, whichever is later, each party to an expedited action must deliver to each other party

(a)        a list, in Form 141, of the witnesses that the party delivering the list proposes to call at the trial of the expedited action, which list must

(i)    include the party delivering the list, if that party intends to give evidence at trial, and

(ii)    exclude any expert witnesses referred to in subrule (33), and

(b)        for each of the witnesses included in the list, a written summary of the evidence that the party believes that witness will give at trial.

[17]         In each of the three actions commence by Ms. Easton, the 90 day period provided for by the former Rule 68(31), as well as the obligation or formal step created by that Rule, had expired well before July 1, 2010. The application of Rule 24-1(14) simply does not come into play. The fact that the ultimate trial of these various actions will post-date September 1, 2010, is of no moment and does not detract from the obligation to adhere to the formal requirements established by the earlier Rules…

[21] The plaintiff is directed to provide proper witness statements to counsel for the defendants within 21 days of the date that these Reasons for Judgment are issued.

In addition to the usual variety of topics I cover on this blog I will continue to post about the new Rules of Court.  If anyone is aware of any recent cases worth noting here please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy

Disclaimer