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EXECUTION - Stay of execution - Pending appeal - Exemptions - Judgments against Crown

Monday, April 09, 2018 @ 8:42 AM  

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Application by the respondent on appeal to lift a stay of execution. The Province of Saskatchewan and Dr. Ladham appealed a civil jury verdict in which the jury awarded the applicant $5 million in damages for breach of contract and inducing breach of contract. The appellants filed separate but identical notices of appeal against the entirety of the judgment. An automatic stay of execution was imposed under Rule 15(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules. The applicant sought to lift the stay in part to assist with the cost of responding to the appeals, to the extent of the $1.13 million portion of the judgment attributed to past loss of income. The Province opposed the application. In the alternative, the Province applied to suspend payment under the judgment pursuant to s. 19(5) of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act.

HELD: Application allowed in part. The automatic stay imposed under Rule 15 was applicable to the case. Nothing in the statutory process of s. 19 of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act was inconsistent with or contrary to the automatic imposition of a stay of execution under Rule 15(1). The whole of s. 19 served to remind the parties and the Court that the analysis on an application to lift a stay must take into account the fact that s. 19(4) obliged the Crown to pay certified money judgments. Justice, fairness and equity in the circumstances called for a partial lifting of the stay so as to mitigate the financial burden imposed on the respondent by virtue of the appeal. The inherent danger of a judgment debtor dissipating assets was not present due to s. 19(4) of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act. The respondent's claim of a financial inability to pursue his appeal was unsupported. Therefore, the stay of execution was lifted to a limited extent, permitting the respondent to receive up to a maximum of $100,000 of the costs awarded to him at trial.

Racette v. Saskatchewan, [2018] S.J. No. 108, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, N.W. Caldwell J.A. (In Chambers), March 16, 2018. Digest No. TLD-April92018001