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mardi 12 mai 2015

An Authorizing Appeal Judge or Panel is not Required to Explain in Detail Why a Motion for Leave is Dismissed

By Sarah D. Pinsonnault

In Plomp c. Joshi, 2015 QCCA 746, the Petitioner seeks to revoke the three-judge panel decision of the Court of Appeal that dismissed her motion for leave to appeal a Superior Court judgment. The Petitioner’s motion before this panel was subject to the rules governing appeals of interlocutory judgments, and thus had to comply with the requirements set forth under articles 29 and 511 C.C.P. in order for leave to be granted.

Among the grounds of appeal upon which the Petitioner seeks leave to appeal is, inter alia, that the judgment was “not a reasoned one in that it did not address any of the many grounds for which she sought leave to appeal” (para. 5).

To put this argument into context, the judgment in question reads as follows:
“[1] Petitioner's motion for leave to appeal is dismissed, not because of the issue of delays, but because her appeal of the first instance judge's decision not to recuse himself would, in the unanimous opinion of this Court, be doomed to fail
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT: 
[2] DISMISSES the motion for leave to appeal, with costs. There being no appeal pending before this Court, Petitioner's other requests are moot.” (emphasis added)
According to the Petitioner, “the three judges on the panel were obliged to provide reasons explaining their conclusion, thus requiring them to consider and analyze each of the grounds of appeal she asserted” (para. 10).

On this note, the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal noted that the “brevity” of the legal requirements for obtaining leave from an interlocutory judgement, notably that of the “pursuit of justice” requiring said leave be granted (art. 511 C.C.P.), must be taken into consideration. In that respect, when it is evident that the latter is not met, the authorizing judge or panel need not elaborate its decision to dismiss the motion for leave:
“[12] Manifestly, a conclusion that an appeal "is doomed to fail" responds to the primary consideration an authorizing judge or panel must consider. The interests of justice do not and cannot require that an appeal with no chance of success be authorized. As such, it is unnecessary to delve into the proposed grounds of appeal and analyze them in detail, unlike what often happens when an appeal is being considered on the merits. That being said, nothing prevents an authorizing judge or panel to explain in detail why a motion for leave is dismissed, but nothing requires them to do so either. 
[13] Indeed, the Supreme Court of Canada only issues orders granting or dismissing leave applications, but never provides reasons for its orders.” (emphasis added)
The Petitioner’s motion in revocation of judgment was ultimately dismissed with costs.

To read this decision in its entirety and other elements discussed therein, click here.

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