Many modern blended families wish to reflect their emotional bonds through the adoption of children by their stepparents. Here are four key things to know about stepparent adoptions. The Consent of both parents is required. To proceed with a stepparent adoption of a child, you need to obtain the consent of both of the child’s parents, not just the consent of your spouse. You need to obtain the consent of both parents, even if one parent has not been involved in the child’s life. Often, one parent will refuse to provide their consent or not respond to the request to dispense with their consent. If you are unable to obtain the consent of a parent, you will need to start court proceedings to ask the court to dispense with that parent’s consent to the adoption. The Consent of the Child may be required. If a child is over seven years … Read More
Stepparent Adoptions: Dispensing with a Parent’s Consent
In Ontario, a stepparent who wants to adopt a stepchild less than sixteen years of age needs to obtain the consent of both of the child’s biological parents. Often, one parent will refuse to provide their consent or will not respond to the request to dispense with their consent. If one of the parents does not provide their consent to the adoption, the stepparent will need to ask the court to dispense with that parent’s consent. The court may do so if they are satisfied: The adoption is in the child’s best interests and The parent whose consent is required has received notice of the proposed adoption and of the application to dispense with consent, or a reasonable effort to give notice has been made. The stepparent must meet both criteria for the court to dispense with a parent’s consent to the adoption. The onus is on the stepparent who … Read More
Stay of Court Proceedings in Favour of Arbitration – Standard of Proof
In the recent decision Husky Food Importers & Distributors Ltd. v. JH Whittaker & Sons Limited, 2023 ONCA 260, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) reviewed the law of international commercial arbitration, and in particular opined on the issue of the standard of proof that a party needs to meet in order for the court to grant a stay of a court proceeding pursuant to section 9 of the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017 (the “Act”), in favour or arbitration. Section 9 of the Act states as follows: Where, pursuant to article II (3) of the Convention or article 8 of the Model Law, a court refers the parties to arbitration, the proceedings of the court are stayed with respect to the matters to which the arbitration relates. The appellant submitted that the proper analytical framework for assessing a request to stay an action under the Act was set out in the … Read More
Launching New Claim in Face of Limitation Deadline, Where Prior Claim Commenced, Not an Abuse of Process
In the recent Court of Appeal decision of Cipponeri Construction Services Inc. v. Orsi, 2023 ONCA 296, the Court of Appeal grappled with whether it was an abuse of process to commence a new action, in the face of a fast approaching limitation deadline, when there was an existing action already commenced, or whether the proper approach was to seek leave to amend the Statement of Claim in the existing action to add the new claim. The Facts and Background In 2018 an action was commenced by the Respondent on the appeal, Michael Orsi along with his corporation Bearus Holdings ULC against Vito Cipponeri, his corporation 2599109 Ontario Inc (259) and Westin Homes Ltd. (Westin). Mr. Cipponeri and 259 counterclaimed in the 2018 action against Mr. Orsi, Bearus and Westin for, amongst other claims, a payment of money allegedly owing by Westin to the appellant, Cipponeri Construction Services Inc. (CCSI) … Read More
Impact of Divorce or Separation on a Family Business
Family Business Challenges from Divorce or Separation Many businesses in Canada are family businesses or have evolved from family businesses. Family businesses present many unique challenges as they grow should the personal relationships of the key members of the family business change or deteriorate. Divorce and separation can have serious impact upon family-owned and family-run businesses, whether incorporated companies or partnerships. Changes in a family business and the challenges presented by change can often result in legal disputes between interested parties. Family business disputes are often be protracted, expensive, and disruptive, and may even result in the sale, division or winding up of the family business. Impact of Separation and Divorce on Family Businesses Complex questions arise in the division of property and assets when dealing with a family business during a separation or divorce. The value of the family business is included in the equalization of net family property … Read More
Sabrina Saltmarsh Presents as Part of Panel on Enforcement of Judgments at Cross-Borders Legal Conference
Sabrina Saltmarsh presented as a Panelist at this years Cross-Borders legal conference held by the Ontario Bar Association on Enforcement of Judgments. The Panel discussion included: how to obtain an order granting enforcement of letters rogatory in Ontario; how letters rogatory are treated by Canadian banks; the process of obtaining recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements in Ontario; and current legal issues surrounding obtaining these types of orders in Ontario. Sabrina provided insights to the audience of Canadian and American lawyers on the recent developments on the law concerning ricochet judgments and the role experts on foreign law may play in judicial proceedings pertaining to enforcement and recognition proceedings. Lawyers at Gilbertson Davis LLP, have experience in representing parties in cross-border litigation and disputes, including seeking to enforce Letters Rogatory and Enforcement and Recognition of Foreign Judgements in Ontario. Please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to schedule a free initial consultation.
Court of Appeal Affirms Limitation Period for Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
In the recent Court of Appeal decision of Sunlight General Capital LLC v. Effisolar Energy Corporation, 2023 ONCA 133, the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the principles established in Independence Plaza 1 Associates L.L.C. v. Figliolini, 2017 ONCA 44, 136 O.R. (3d) 202, (“Independent Plaza 1”) at para. 3, that the limitation period for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment begins to run from the date on which the right of appeal in respect of that judgment expires, and not from the date of issuance of the judgment. Facts: The Respondent, Sunlight General Capital LLC (the “Respondent”), had obtained a judgment against the Appellant, Effisolar Energy Corporation (the “Appellant”), in the Supreme Court of New York for approximately 1.6 million U.S. The judgment was issued on October 18, 2018, and on May 19, 2019, an appeal with the Supreme Court of New York was administratively dismissed. The Respondent moved … Read More
Ontario Court of Appeal Says Costs on anti-SLAPP Motions Should not Generally Exceed $50,000
In the recent decision, Park Lawn Corporation v. Kahu Capital Partners Ltd., 2023 ONCA 129, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) provides welcome guidance on s. 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, a provision introduced in 2015 to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation (“SLAPP”). The decision under review by the ONCA is that of a judge’s dismissal of a motion brought by the appellants under s. 137.1 (“anti-SLAPP motion”). In particular, the appellants took issue with the motion judge’s conclusion that the plaintiff had proven sufficient harm caused by the defamatory statements. The appellants alleged that the motion judge failed to properly weigh the harm to the plaintiff against the public interest in protecting the appellants’ expression on matters of public interest. In dismissing the appeal, the ONCA found no reviewable error in the motion judge’s analysis, and advised that the motion judge “correctly described the legal principles … Read More
Nick Poon Comments on Tim Hortons’ Roll Up to Win Contest for CTV News
Nick Poon was recently asked to comment on the legal rights of customers in Tim Hortons’ Roll Up to Win Contest for CTV News. Read the CTV News article here: Tim Hortons mistakenly told an Ontario man he’d won $10K. Now, he wants to sue. If you require legal advice or legal representation in respect to civil litigation and commercial litigation matters including contract disputes and misrepresentation claims, please contact us for an initial consultation. Our lawyers have expertise and experience in such matters and can assist you in resolving your legal issues including finding practical and cost-effective solutions.
Directors Can Be Liable To Corporations Creditors For Stripping Assets
In the recent Court of Appeal decision of FNF Enterprises Inc. v. Wag and Train Inc., 2023 ONCA 92 the Court of Appeal considered whether a landlord in a commercial lease arrangement could pursue a claim against the sole director and officer of the tenant corporation, for stripping the assets of the corporation to evade their debt obligations under the lease. The Facts The Appellants, FNF Enterprises Inc., and 2378007 Ontario Inc. (the “Landlord”) owned a commercial premises in Kitchener, Ontario which they leased to one of the Respondents on the appeal, a corporate entity named Wag and Tag Inc., (the “Tenant”). Wag and Tag Inc. was in the business of providing dog grooming, training and daycare services. The lease ran from 2015 to March 31, 2021. The premises was abandoned by the Tenant prior to the end of the lease term. The Claim In September 2020, the Landlord commenced … Read More
COVID Vaccination – Can You Force Your Child to Be Vaccinated?
In O.M.S. v E.J.S., 2023 SKCA 8, a Saskatchewan father recently tried, and failed, to get a court to order that his 13-year-old daughter be vaccinated against Covid-19. The case illustrates some of the key principles that courts regularly apply when making determinations about medical treatments in the face of disagreements between separated or divorced parents. In this case, the parents had been separated since 2012. The parents had a high conflict relationship with numerous court attendances. Their daughter lived primarily with the mother, and under the terms of the decision-making responsibility (“custody”) arrangement, the mother had final decision-making responsibility over medical matters. The mother was opposed to vaccinations in general and questioned the accuracy of Covid-19 information circulated by public health authorities. She did not want their daughter to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. The daughter was also opposed to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. The father wanted their daughter to … Read More
Recognition of Foreign Judgments and Arbitral Awards – Recent Decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice says Ontario Court is Not to Intervene Absent Exceptional Circumstances
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“OSCJ”) recently released its decision in Costco Wholesale Corporation v. TicketOps Corporation, 2023 ONSC 573, granting an application to enforce judgments received by the applicant from the United States District Court (Western District of Washington at Seattle) and/or the underlying arbitral awards. At the same time, the OSCJ also rejected the Respondents’ motion to convert the application into an action. Recognition of Awards With regard to the Awards, the OSCJ advises as follows: “In Ontario, foreign arbitral awards are enforceable through the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 2, Sched. 5 (“ICAA”). The ICAA provides that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“Convention”) has force of law in Ontario. The Convention is set out in Schedule 1 to the ICAA. The ICAA also provides that the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”) has force of law in Ontario. The Model Law is set out in Schedule 2 to the ICAA.” The OSCJ notes that the Convention and … Read More
Fraudulent Conveyance Act Protects Future Potential Creditors
In the recent Court of Appeal decision of Ontario Securities Commission v. Camerlengo Holdings Inc., 2023 ONCA 93, the Court of Appeal overturned a motion judges decision to strike the Ontario Securities Commission’s (“OSC”) claim made pursuant to s.2 of the Fraudulent Conveyance Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F. 19 (“FCA”) due to lack of particularity. The Court of Appeal held that it is not necessary for a creditor to be known to the debtor at the time of a potentially fraudulent conveyance, it is enough that the debtor perceived a risk of claims from a general class of future creditors and conveyed the property with the intention to evade such creditors if they arose. The Facts Fred Camerlengo a retired electrician and the sole director of the Defendant corporation, Camerlengo Holdings Inc. (Holdco), conveyed his interest in the family home to his wife Mirella Camerlengo, a retired teacher, which was … Read More
Can’t Get Financing On Time? You May Lose Your Deposit – Toronto Real Estate Lawyers
In the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”), Nguyen v. Zaza, 2023 ONCA 34, the ONCA dismissed the appellant’s appeal from a decision of a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to grant the respondent’s summary judgment motion and order forfeiture of the appellant’s deposit of $50,000 to the respondent (among other relief). The appellant was the purchaser and the respondent was the seller of the subject property. The agreement of purchase and sale at the center of the dispute between the parties specifically indicated that time was of the essence. Originally, the agreement was conditional on the appellant arranging financing and a satisfactory home inspection, but the appellant waived those conditions prior to closing. The motion judge found that on the closing date the respondent was ready, willing, and able, to close whereas the appellant did not tender the purchase price required from her … Read More
How to Set Aside (Cancel) a Separation Agreement: Part 2
As Part 1 of this series explained, courts generally respect the arrangements negotiated by parties in separation agreements, but can “set aside” (cancel) a separation agreement for several different reasons. Part 1 discussed two common grounds, (i) misunderstanding of the nature or consequences of the agreement, and (ii) duress, undue influence, fraud, misrepresentation, or public policy reasons. This Part 2 covers another common ground, failure to meet the financial disclosure requirements of the Family Law Act. Financial disclosure is the key obligation in family law. One of the most common reasons separation agreements are set aside (canceled) is for lack of financial disclosure or inadequate financial disclosure. Under the Family Law Act, parties cannot waive financial disclosure before entering into a separation agreement. Under the Family Law Act, the court can set aside a separation agreement if a party failed to disclose to the other significant assets, or significant debts … Read More
Failure To Close A Real Estate Transaction Can Be Very Costly
For many reasons, an agreement of purchase and sale to buy real estate may be breached by either the seller or the purchaser. The innocent party may be entitled to significant compensation. For instance, in the recent Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) decision, Rosehaven Homes Limited v. Aluko, 2022 ONCA 817, the ONCA upheld a lower court decision granting summary judgment requiring the appellants to pay damages to the respondent arising from the appellants’ failure to complete an agreement of purchase and sale for the purchase of a home. In that case, the appellants were unable to complete the transaction because they could not obtain sufficient financing. However, the agreement was not conditional on them obtaining financing. The respondent ultimately sold the property at a loss (compared to the sale price agreed to between the parties). The lower court awarded $331,922.27 to the respondent (being the difference between the original … Read More
Recognition of United States and Other Foreign Default Judgments – The Ontario Court Does Not Consider Underlying Merits!
Just over a month ago, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (“ONSC”) in North Field Technology Ltd. v. Project Investors, Inc., 2022 ONSC 5731, recognized as orders of Ontario a default judgment and various ancillary orders that the Applicant obtained in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida (“Florida Court”), against the Respondents. The Florida Court found that the Respondents were evading service of the legal proceedings in Florida and issued a series of judgments against the Respondents such as an asset freeze injunction and permanent injunction restraining the Respondents from transferring their assets, as well as orders for certain monetary and declaratory relief, among other orders. The ONSC validated service of the Ontario application, recognizing that the Florida Court “has already found that the respondents were avoiding service”. The ONSC also found that the Applicant has met the test for recognition and enforcement of the Florida Judgments … Read More