35940 Duong v. The Queen (Criminal Law — Right to Silence)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced May 13, 2014. Police officers executed a search warrant on the applicant’s cottage property. They found him alone and driving his pickup truck. In the truck, they found a loaded rifle with no safety lock and bags of marihuana. On the property, they found more bags of marihuana and items associated with a marihuana grow operation. No one else was on the farm. In a video recorded police interview, the applicant confessed that the drugs were his. After the applicant was released on bail, Mr. Williams attended at the police station and claimed that the drugs were his. He later pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction of justice and fabricating evidence. At the applicant’s trial, he testified that the applicant paid him to take the blame for the drugs. He testified that Mr. Williams and another man kidnapped him and threatened him if he did not co-operate. He testified that they disappeared when the police arrived and he was not aware of the drugs. He testified that he met Mr. Williams afterwards, and threatened to call the police if he did not turn himself in. The trial judge relied in part on the applicant’s failure to tell the police about the kidnappers when assessing the credibility of his exculpatory testimony. The trial judge convicted the applicant on several charges and the Court of Appeal dismissed the applicant’s appeal.
35934 Ralph v. The Queen (Criminal law — Right to counsel)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced January 3, 2014. The applicant’sCharter-based challenges were dismissed. The applicant was convicted of five counts of trafficking in cocaine, four counts of possessing the proceeds of crime and one count of offering to sell a firearm. The applicant’s application to stay the convictions on the basis of entrapment was dismissed. The conviction appeal was dismissed.
35951 Chang v. Leung, et al. (Charter — Wills and estates)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia pronounced January 21, 2014. Hsieu Chang, who was predeceased by her husband in 2001, died on May 25, 2007. In her will, she bequeathed the applicant with $10, the remainder to be divided between her other children, Ms. Leung, who acted as the deceased’s executrix, and the other respondents. The will indicated that the minimal bequest to the applicant reflected their poor relationship and the financial aid she had provided in the form of his interest in the Surrey property. In a codicil, the deceased added that she had limited his inheritance due to his receipt of the proceeds from the sale of a property in Shanghai, and because she did not think he needed her financial support. When Ms. Leung applied for probate of her mother’s estate, the applicant opposed the application. In 2009, an order of probate was granted. When the applicant appealed, the order was set aside and the matter was remitted for determination of issues of undue influence and testamentary capacity. The trial judge admitted the will into probate, dismissing claims of lack of capacity, undue influence, competence, and irrational provisions. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.
35969 Lewis v. Central Credit Union Limited (Commercial law — Creditor and debtor)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Prince Edward Island pronounced May 5, 2014. The parties had a longstanding commercial loan relationship. The Credit Union provided ongoing credit facilities to the applicant in connection with his potato production operation. Following years of losses, by 2010 aggregate outstanding indebtedness had increased to be in the neighbourhood of $900,000. After the applicant was in arrears for some time, the Credit Union called the loans and commenced enforcement proceedings. There were some defects in the security, and through court proceedings the applicant obtained some relief from enforcement. The Credit Union subsequently commenced a collection proceeding for debt. The applicant denied he was in arrears, raised some bars to enforcement, and counterclaimed for special, general and punitive damages, based on alleged Credit Union mistakes and improper actions constituting negligence and bad faith resulting in loss of profit and reputation. The Prince Edward Island Supreme Court granted judgment to the Credit Union for the full amount of indebtedness claimed for principal and accrued interest and dismissed the counterclaim. The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal. The Court of Appeal subsequently dismissed the applicant’s motion requesting a reconsideration.
35981 Gandhi v. The Queen (Criminal law – Evidence)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced March 10, 2014. The applicant was convicted of two counts of assault and one count of assault with a weapon. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
35963 Verch, et al. v. Weckworth, et al. (Wills and estates)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario pronounced April 30, 2014. The applicants are the only adult children of Albert Verch, who died in 2008 at the age of 87, having executed his last will and testament with his lawyer in 2003. He left his entire estate to his daughter-in-law, the respondent, Diane Verch, who at the time of the testator’s death, was separated from Albert’s son, the applicant, Kenneth Verch. In the ten years prior to his death, the testator and his son had said little to one another. The other applicant, Donna McCann, had moved to Calgary in 1979 and visited with her parents once or twice a year. After Albert’s death, Kenneth and Donna applied to have the will set aside. A procedural order was made that set forth the issues to be tried. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the Applicants’ application to set aside the will and the Court of Appeal dismissed the Applicants’ appeal.
35896 Chou, et al. v. Leduc (Contracts – Sale of land)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Quebec pronounced March 17, 2014. In 2008, the respondent made an offer to purchase a lot of land owned by the applicants. The offer to purchase was conditional upon municipal approval of a development project on the land at issue. The respondent failed to obtain the required approval and subsequently sought an amendment to the offer to purchase in order to make it conditional upon municipal zoning modifications which the municipality ultimately refused to make. The respondent had represented to the applicants that the municipality had undertaken to make the required zoning modification, but the applicants refused to sign the deed of sale. The respondent sought title, and the applicants filed a cross-demand on grounds that the respondent had acted in bad faith and that his title demand was abusive. The Superior Court of Quebec dismissed both the Respondent’s title demand and the Applicants’ cross-demand. The Court of Appeal of Quebec granted the Respondent’s motion for dismissal of the Applicants’ appeal.
35832 City of Montréal, et al. v. Singh (Civil procedure — Evidence — Allegation of prosecutorial misconduct)
On appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Quebec pronounced February 19, 2014. In 2007, the respondent was facing two criminal charges stemming from his participation in a demonstration. On the day of the trial, the applicant, Rouillard, who was the Crown prosecutor for the applicant City of Montréal (“City”), tried to settle the case on certain conditions. According to the respondent, the Rouillard offered to settle the case in exchange for a promise by the respondent not to bring a civil suit against the police officer, the prosecutors and the City. The criminal charges were ultimately withdrawn, so no settlement was reached concerning them. In 2008, the respondent brought a civil suit against the applicants in which he alleged that Rouillard had acted in bad faith, with malice and in a manner inconsistent with the traditional prosecutorial function and that the prosecution had had a purpose other than carrying the law into effect. As evidence, the respondent sought to call as a witness the lawyer who had represented him in the criminal prosecution and taken part in the settlement discussions with Rouillard. Relying on the privileged nature of the communications, the applicants objected to that evidence. The Superior Court allowed the objection. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.