REGARDING ORDERS REQUIRING PAYMENTS OF MONEY – THAT IS THE QUESTION – PART III OF III
Today’s blog is the third in a three part series dealing with the availability of Rule 60.11 contempt orders to enforce the payment of money and more specifically, the case of Dickie v. Dickie, in which the Ontario Court of Appeal (C.A.) and Supreme Court of Canada (“S.C.C.”) considered this issue.
Part I (July 31, 2007) noted several C.A. cases on the issue and provided background to the Dickie case. Yesterday’s blog dealt with the C.A.’s decision in Dickie. As promised, today’s blog deals with the S.C.C.’s disposition of the case.
As noted yesterday, the C.A., by majority decision, dismissed the appeal in Dickie, finding that the appellant ought not to have been found in contempt by the motion Judge for failing to comply with orders that required him to provide a $150,000 irrevocable letter of credit to secure his child and spousal support obligations and to provide security for costs in the amount of $100,000 as each order was an order for payment of money. Laskin J.A. dissented.
The S.C.C., however, was in substantial agreement with the reasons of Laskin J.A. The S.C.C. therefore allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the C.A. The motion Judge’s order was reinstated.
Laskin J.A. had found that where money is ordered to be paid not to the creditor but into Court, or to its functional equivalent (solicitor to be held in trust), and where the effect of the order is not to create a fixed debt obligation but to secure a debt obligation, then the order is not an order for the payment of money under Rule 60.11.
The S.C.C. was also of the view that the C.A. had the authority to refuse to entertain the appeal for the reasons provided by Laskin J.A. (based on the record showing continuing disobedience with Court orders) until the appellant before the C.A. had taken steps to comply with the Court orders below.
While the decision in Dickie does not change the law that Rule 60.11 contempt orders cannot be used to enforce the payment of money, the decision may well effect, among other things, the nature of the relief sought in support claims brought under the Succession Law Reform Act where there is a potential risk of non-payment of support obligations.
Thanks for reading. Craig