Case Name:

M. v. Ontario

Between

V. M., applicant, and

Her Majesty the Queen, respondent, and

Justice of the Peace McAleer, respondent

[2005] O.J. No. 1414;  2005 CarswellOnt 4359

Court File No. M91/04

 Ontario Superior Court of Justice

J.D. McCombs J.

Heard: January 21, 2005.

 Judgment: January 21, 2005.

(6 paras.)

 

Legal profession — Practice by unauthorized persons — Paralegals — Injunctions against.

Application by a paralegal for certiorari. The paralegal claimed that the justice of the peace exceeded her jurisdiction by barring him indefinitely from appearing before her as agent for the defence, pursuant to s. 50(3) of the Provincial Offences Act. The justice concluded that the paralegal materially misled her.

HELD: Application allowed. The justice misapprehended the true facts concerning the conduct and competence of the paralegal. The justice’s order was set aside.

Statutes, Regulations and Rules Cited:

Provincial Offences Act, ss. 50(3), 141(4).

 

Counsel:

Graham T. Clark, for the applicant.

Kate Doorly, for the respondent Crown.

Connie Vernon, for the respondent Justice of the Peace McAleer.

Endorsement

1     J.D. McCOMBS J.:– The applicant, a paralegal “agent” applies for Certiorari relief, alleging that the justice of the peace exceeded her jurisdiction by invoking s. 50(3) of the Provincial Offences Act to bar him indefinitely from appearing before her as agent for the defence.

2     The justice of the peace was entitled, indeed obligated, to invoke s. 50(3) where the appearance of the agent would undermine the integrity of the judicial process or otherwise bring the administration of justice into disrepute. See R. v. Romanowicz (1999), 45 O.R. (3d) 506 (C.A.).

3     In this case, the justice of the peace concluded that she had been materially misled by the applicant, and found that “there are clear grounds to bar him for not acting competently to represent and advise a person for whom he appears, as well as not understanding and complying with the duties and responsibilities of an agent”.

4     I am persuaded that the conclusion of the justice of the peace were based upon a misapprehension of the true facts respecting the conduct and competence of the applicant. Although the applicant’s conduct was hardly a shining example of competent representation, a fair reading of the records reveals that there was no basis for the decision of the justice of the peace to invoke s. 50(3) and bar the applicant from appearing before her in the future. It follows that the criteria in s. 141(4) of the P.O.A. have been met, and that relief should be granted.

5     In the result, the order of the justice of the peace is set aside.

6     There will be no order as to costs.

J.D. McCOMBS J.