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Dismissal on the basis of frivolousness, vexatiousness, or abuse of process limited to the clearest cases where the abusive nature is apparent on the face of the pleading and there is basis in the pleadings to support the resort to the attenuated process

Ontario

,

Canada

R.2.1 Dismissal Only in the Clearest of Cases In Hamza v. Law Society of Ontario, 2021 ONCA 852, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed a lawyer’s appeal from an order dismissing his claim against the Law Society of Ontario and various other individuals. The motion judge found that the appellant’s Notice of Application, affidavit, and Factum amounted to over 1,000 pages of rambling pseudo-intellectual attacks on the LSO and other respondents.The Court of Appeal affirmed that the use of r.2.1 is restricted and limited to the clearest of cases where the abusive nature of the proceeding is apparent on the face of the pleading. Despite this, on a review of the notice of appeal and other materials, the Court found that the test was satisfied. The materials continued to make racist and misogynistic attacks against the respondents and court staff. The appeal was dismissed. Background In Hamza v. Law Society of Ontario et al, 2021 ONSC 2023 (CanLII), Heeney J. dismissed a lawyer’s action against the Law Society of Ontario and others. The lawyer made extensive allegations against the LSO and others in the aftermath of an argument that took place on LinkedIn. Motion Decision Heeney J. found his materials to be plainly abusive and that he was trying to use the proceeding as a forum for his racist, misogynist, and bizarre views. The latter was found to be an abuse of process (para 29-31). Heeney J. found that the claims could fairly be described as nonsense. They were untenable at law and with no chance of success (para 37). Ontario Court of Appeal Decision The Court held that the use of r.2.1 is limited to the clearest of cases where the abusive nature of the proceeding is apparent on the face of the pleading and there is a basis in the pleadings to support the resort to the attenuated process. The Court must determine whether the proceeding is frivolous, vexatious, or an abuse of process on its face in determining whether an appeal should be summarily dismissed under r.2.1 (para 6).The Court of Appeal considered notice of appeal, as well as the appeal book and factum the appellant was attempting to file. They did not raise any issues or arguments with respect to the order under appeal that were relevant to any arguable ground of appeal, instead continuing to make racist and misogynistic statements including personal attacks on the respondents, the motion judge, and opposing counsel. The appeal was found to be frivolous, vexatious, and ab abuse of process, and a clear case for the use of r.2.1 The Appeal was dismissed (para 7-8).

April 14, 2022
Hamza v. Law Society of Ontario, 2021 ONCA 852 (CanLII)