JPM Express Inc. v. 2092889 Ontario Inc. (c.o.b. Joyce Express Inc.) [2010] O.J. 3427

JPM carries on business as a trucking company using a fleet of tractors and trailers. All Link Freight owned real property used by JPM to park the tractors and trailers. JPM had a mobile office on these premises, together with another company. The parties behind the companies were cousins, who had a falling out.

In June 2010 JPM learned that All Link had filed RSLA liens against its tractors and trailers under the Repair and Storage Liens Act (“RSLA”), and was preventing JPM from removing the units from the premises. On July 8 a bailiff served JPM with a notice of sale of the units under the RSLA for the arrears of payment.

JPM brought a motion for an injunction enjoining All Link from selling the subject units. The Court granted the injunction and held there were serious issues for trial as follows:

  • if the use of the premises was merely a licence to park the vehicles, then no RSLA “storer’s” lien existed. “Storage” as a form of bailment needed some form of surrender of control over the vehicles, such as handing over the keys. In this the Court referred to Munro v. Bluffer’s Park Marina Ltd. [2006] O.J. No. 825 (C.A.) in which the Court of Appeal concluded that where a licence agreement between the marina and the boat owner provided that the owner contracted only for “dockage”, the contract was not one for storage and the RSLA did not apply [at para 22];
  • there was no evidence of the amount owed for storage charges, the charge being blank in the contract and there was no evidence of what would be a “fair value of storage” as required in section 4(1) of the RSLA where there was no agreed charge;
  • there was disagreement as to whether JPM had executed the contract for the parking; and
  • certain tractors and trailers were to be released to JPM immediately and others released when JPM had paid $8,000 into court pending the resolution of these issues.