Ontario Civil

Bankruptcy and Insolvency

Deputy registrar could not contravene statute and ignore case law

Appeal by Superintendent of Bankruptcy from deputy registrar’s decision granting bankrupt absolute discharge. Bankrupt made joint filing for bankruptcy in 2000. Trustee determined that bankrupt were required to contribute portion of their surplus income to various estates for benefit of creditors in an amount of $676.62 per month for 21 months. Bankrupt did not comply with surplus income payment and had balance owing of $10,240.45. Deputy registrar granted absolute discharge to bankrupt. Appeal allowed. Order annulling absolute discharge was issued and matter was referred back to mediation for rehearing on merits. Given clear and unequivocal language of s. 172(2) of Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Can.), it was obvious that deputy registrar exceeded his jurisdiction in giving bankrupt absolute discharge. Review of transcripts of previous hearings confirmed that deputy registrar had very strong views about Surplus Income Guidelines, and was of opinion that they were not fair. Deputy registrar could not just proceed to contravene statute and ignore relevant case law.

Dabeka (Re)

(Mar. 9, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., Roy J., File No. 33-1309261/2) 213 A.C.W.S. (3d) 15 (6 pp.).

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