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Ontario’s new Rules of Civil Procedure apply to motions filed before Jan. 1, 2010


January 6, 2010   by Canadian Underwriter


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A motion for summary judgement filed in 2009, but that will not be heard until 2010, is subject to the new Rules of Civil Procedure that came into effect as of Jan. 1, 2010, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has ruled in an endorsement.
In Onex Corporation et al. v. American Home Assurance et al., Onex Corporation and four directors sued American Home and the excess insurers to recover more than $30 million in legal costs incurred while defending an action in the United States, after the defendant’s insurers denied coverage.
Onex filed a motion for summary judgement in February 2009, asking the court to rule on whether American Home should indemnify it for these defence costs.
The motion will likely be heard in 2010, after the changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure take effect.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba noted the 2010 changes make it clear certain rules will not apply in certain circumstances, including whether the action or motion was filed before or after Jan. 1, 2010.
“However, no general transitional provision is provided in the 2010 changes,” he wrote.
“In my view, if the legislature had intended that the old Rule 20 would continue to apply to summary judgement motions filed before 2010 or that a general ‘transitional provision’ was required, it could have said so,” he wrote.
“It chose not to do this. It follows, therefore, that the new summary judgement procedure is intended to take immediate effect as of Jan. 1, 2010 and apply to all Rule 20 matters before the court, whenever the motion was filed.”