Failure to satisfy costs order resulted in finding of civil contempt, warrant of committal, arrest, and imprisonment

Federal court | Administrative Law | Prerequisites to judicial review | Miscellaneous

Corporation controlled by applicant, NB Ltd., commenced action in Ontario Superior Court of Justice against 62 defendants. After NB Ltd.’s action was stayed, a number of defendants sought and successfully obtained costs against applicant personally because of his obstructionist behaviour in litigation. Applicant’s failure to satisfy costs order ultimately resulted in him being found in civil contempt by co-respondent, Honourable Mister Justice BS, who issued warrant of committal for applicant’s arrest and imprisonment. Applicant filed complaint about Justice BS’s conduct in issuing warrant with Canadian Judicial Council (“CJC”). CJC’s Executive Director dismissed complaint. Applicant now applied under section 18.1 of Federal Courts Act for judicial review of Executive Director’s decision. Applicant’s application for judicial review dismissed. Application dismissed. It was clearly open to Justice BS to amend warrant in 2013. Although 2010 Warrant was silent on issue of remission, 2013 Warrant can either be interpreted as change in applicant’s sentence or as amendment reflecting Justice BS’s original intention. Executive Director’s determination - that applicant’s complaint about 2010 Warrant being amended did not involve judicial misconduct - was reasonable because amendment was something which occurred in course of judicial decision-making.

Best v. Canada (Attorney General) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 7256, 2017 CarswellNat 7770, 2017 FC 1145, 2017 CF 1145, Keith M. Boswell J. (F.C.).

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