What is the difference between a plaintiff and defendant in a long-running dispute over the ownership of a commercial building?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Boutsakis v. Kakavelakis, 2009 BCSC 815 (CanLII):

These competing claims are the latest battles in what Baker J. described and chronicled as “a long war of litigation” between these parties (Boutsakis v. Kakavelakis, 2005 BCSC 541 at para.1). The parties owned a commercial building at 2287-2291 W. Broadway in Vancouver and leased the premises to three tenants, including the “Side Door” cabaret, a night club run by two businessmen. The cabaret ran into substantial arrears of rent and, following lengthy negotiations and legal intervention, the liquor licence for the cabaret was transferred into the names of the plaintiff and the defendant in lieu of the debt. Due to restrictions on the licence because it had been ‘grandfathered’, the cabaret could not be closed for more than ninety days otherwise both the liquor and business licence for the cabaret would be lost. The cabaret had already been closed for a considerable period of time. The parties decided to jointly operate the cabaret to keep it going while they looked for a buyer for the cabaret business.

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