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JURISDICTION - International issues (with foreign state or territory)

Thursday, May 02, 2019 @ 8:45 AM  

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Motion by the plaintiff for default judgment. The plaintiff claimed that, after they entered into a joint venture to develop property in the United Arab Emirates, the defendant unlawfully took over the business and excluded him from it. He sought a tracing order or, alternatively, damages. The defendant was personally served but did not respond or appear.

HELD: Motion allowed. The claim did not have a real and substantial connection to Ontario. All the conduct complained of occurred in the United Arab Emirates. However, the court was a “forum of necessity”. The plaintiff reasonably believed that his safety would be in danger if he were to attempt to litigate the case in the United Arab Emirates. He was subjected to threats, intimidation and coercion there, causing him to come to Canada as a refugee. He reasonably believed that the government and Royal Family in Dubai aligned themselves with the defendant such that he would not get a fair trial. His beliefs were reasonably supported by Amnesty International.

Mohammad v. Tarraf, [2019] O.J. No. 1366, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, D.K. Gray J., March 15, 2019. Digest No. TLD-April292019011