No injustice would arise by precluding taxpayer from raising issue already determined

Civil Practice And Procedure - Judgments And Orders - Res Judicata And Issue Estoppel

In 2012, taxpayer was arrested and charged with tax fraud, pursuant to s. 380(1)(a) of Criminal Code of Canada. After three years and two unsuccessful attempts to have search warrants quashed, taxpayer was convicted by jury of one count of tax fraud and was sentenced to six years incarceration. In challenges to search warrants, taxpayer maintained that search warrants were invalid, because they were issued by judge of Ontario Court of Justice instead of judge of superior court, pursuant to Income Tax Act (ITA). Taxpayer unsuccessfully appealed his conviction and sentence in 2018. Accused brought application for declaratory relief in regard to jurisdiction to issue search warrants under s. 487 of Criminal Code when offences under ITA were alleged. Minister brought motion to strike taxpayer’s application. Motion granted. It was apparent from taxpayer’s previous cases, that issue of statutory interpretation that taxpayer raised in this application, was precisely same as issue he previously raised before superior court and appeal court, although relief he sought was different. In this case, three preconditions to application of issue estoppel of res judicata had been met. No injustice would arise by precluding taxpayer from raising precise issue of statutory interpretation that he had already raised three separate occasions before courts. Taxpayer’s application also constituted abuse of process by relitigation.

Watts v. Canada (Revenue Agency) (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 5677, 2019 FC 1321, Paul S. Crampton C.J. (F.C.).

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