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CIVIL PROCEDURE - Pleadings - Striking out pleadings or allegations

Friday, March 01, 2019 @ 7:00 AM  


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Appeal by the plaintiff, Sidhu, from an order striking his statement of claim in respect of his action against various government and police defendants. The plaintiff was a graduate student whose access to university email was revoked after he sent two rude emails to faculty. The following day, the plaintiff was removed from campus by staff and a trespass order was issued against him. Approximately three years later, university officials rejected the plaintiff's appeal of the trespass order. He was subsequently arrested by police for criminal harassment of the General Counsel of the university based upon a series of voicemail messages. The criminal charge was resolved after the plaintiff entered a peace bond that included a non-contact order. The plaintiff commenced an action alleging that the government and police defendants failed to exercise proper oversight of university staff and police officers in a manner that breached the conception of the "public good" implicit in Canada's constitution. The defendants applied to strike the statement of claim. The chambers judge struck the claim on the basis it failed to disclose a reasonable claim. The plaintiff appealed.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. For the reasons provided, the chambers judge correctly concluded that the statement of claim disclosed no reasonable claim. The allegations in the claim did not disclose a legally known cause of action against the defendants. The plaintiff's contention, raised for the first time on appeal, that the claim raised the tort of conspiracy was rejected, as there were insufficient supporting facts pled. Similarly, the statement of claim did not plead the facts necessary to support a claim based on false arrest. The chambers judge made no reviewable error in striking the plaintiff's statement of claim.

Sidhu v. Alberta (Lieutenant-Governor), [2019] A.J. No. 35, Alberta Court of Appeal, M.S. Paperny, F.F. Slatter and R. Khullar JJ.A., January 15, 2019. Digest No. TLD-February252019010