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CIVIL PROCEDURE - Parties - Intervenors - Appeals

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 @ 7:11 AM  

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Application by the National Self-Represented Litigant Project for leave to intervene in an appeal about the process and test used in the Court of Queen’s Bench when making orders that restricted a litigant’s access to the courts based on its inherent jurisdiction to control its own procedures. The applicant was a non-profit organization that advocated for self-represented litigants. It conducted several studies on self-represented litigants in the legal system. If granted permission to intervene, the applicant would argue that the approach taken by the chambers judge in the present case, which was typical of the Court of Queen’s Bench generally, too often caught self-represented litigants who presented challenges to the justice system due to misunderstanding, poor language skills and mental illness.

HELD: Application allowed. A decision on this appeal could have a significant effect on the applicant’s achievement of its mandate. The applicant was specially affected by this appeal. The applicant had special expertise on self-represented litigants and on the designation of self-represented litigants as vexatious litigants. It was capable of bringing an important and distinct perspective to some of the issues in this appeal. An application by the applicant to introduce the empirical studies it had conducted as fresh evidence on appeal would not prejudice the other parties.

Jonsson v. Lymer, [2019] A.J. No. 360, Alberta Court of Appeal, S.J. Greckol J.A., March 26, 2019. Digest No. TLD-April222019004