Rule 2.1 of Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure, enacted last year, permits a Court to dismiss a proceeding, on its own initiative after a summary procedure, if it “appears on its face to be frivolous or vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court.” In its April 9, 2015 decision in Brown v. Lloyd’s of London Insurance Market, the Ontario Court of Appeal employed Rule 2.1 for the first time to dismiss an appeal that was frivolous and abusive. The Registrar advised the appellant that his appeal may be dismissed for this reason, and permitted him to make written submissions. He did so, as did one of ten respondents. The Court held:

 [3]        Under Rule 2.1, this court may stay or dismiss a proceeding that appears on its face to be frivolous or vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court. Having reviewed the appellant’s submissions and those of the respondent, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, as well as the appellant’s pleading and the motion judge’s reasons, we are satisfied that the appellant’s appeal is frivolous and vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the court’s process and, therefore, that it should be dismissed on the authority of Rule 2.1.

 [4]        The motion judge held that: i) the appellant’s statement of claim contains “no intelligible claims” against any of the defendants “except possibly his former landlord [the defendant, A. Esden-Tempski]”; and ii) apart from the claims concerning Mr. Esden-Tempski, the incidents pleaded and the relief sought in relation to them concern the “redesign [of] the social welfare and legal services systems of Ontario”. The motion judge therefore held that “it is self-evident on the face of the claim that it is frivolous and vexatious and cannot possibly succeed as against all of the defendants except, possibly, Mr. Esden-Tempski.”


[6]        We agree with the motion judge’s characterization of the appellant’s action and with his assessment of the appellant’s pleading. With the possible exception of the claims sought to be advanced against Mr. Esden-Tempski, the allegations in the appellant’s pleading, to the extent that they are discernable, and the associated relief claimed are either non-justiciable or fail to disclose a reasonable cause of action within the meaning of the Rules.


[9]        None of the matters raised by the appellant in his Notice of Appeal and responding submissions, described above, constitutes a ground of appeal tenable at law from the motion judge’s ruling. The appellant’s complaints either misconstrue the requirements of the Rules, mischaracterize the motion judge’s reasons, or raise speculative and/or bald assertions of past or future alleged injury to himself or others.

[10]      Like the motion judge, we conclude that while one might empathize with some of the appellant’s concerns and suggested experiences, they do not disclose actionable complaints, as pleaded. Nor do they afford a viable ground of appeal from the motion judge’s order.

[11]      In these circumstances, the appellant’s appeal must be dismissed under Rule 2.1. Both the appellant’s underlying action and his proposed appeal are so devoid of potential merit as to be frivolous and vexatious and an abuse of the court’s process on their face, save only with respect to the appellant’s proposed claims against Mr. Esden-Tempski. There can be no reasonable expectation that, should the appeal proceed, the appellant could obtain the relief he seeks.

[12]      For these reasons, this is an appropriate case for invocation of Rule 2.1 in relation to the appellant’s proposed proceeding in this court. The appellant’s appeal is therefore dismissed.

[13]      This is not an appropriate case for any award of costs in relation to this Rule 2.1 motion. The court dispenses with the need for the respondents to seek the appellant’s approval as to the form and content of this court’s order.