Case: Froom v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2018 ONCA 627 (CanLII)
Keywords: Private Prosecution; Transcript; Actions Against the Crown
Mr. Froom alleges that, during the course of a failed attempt to initiate a private prosecution, the Attorney General of Ontario and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, (the “Crown”) instructs a court reporter to provide a false transcript, and that Crown employees refuse to provide assistance with his complaint.
The Crown, pursuant to Rule 21, moves for an order striking Mr. Froom’s statement of claim. The Motions Judge determines the Attorney General, as a Minister of the Crown cannot be held vicariously liable for the tortious conduct of Crown servants. As such, it is plain and obvious Mr. Froom’s claim discloses no reasonable cause of action. The Court of Appeal finds no reason to interfere with the Motion Judge’s conclusions.
The Court of Appeal set out the following passage from the Crown’s factum:
- Ultimately, the Appellant’s concerns about obtaining an unedited transcript were addressed pursuant to the order [sic] Justice Pardu. To the extent that improper judicial editing of the transcript occurred, this could have been dealt with by the Appellant as a ground of appeal in his appeal of the Application Judge’s ruling. Instead, he chose to abandon that appeal. More than a year later, he commenced this civil action for damages based principally on his interactions with the Respondents in the context of his abandoned appeal. (See para. 5).
The lesson here is both about forum selection and how to correct “improper judicial editing”. The Court of Appeal is here confirming the importance of addressing concerns about the accuracy of a transcript and/or judicial interference with same as a ground of appeal from the underlying ruling. In other words, the juridical battlefield one chooses is of significant strategic importance.
Appearing in Person: David Froom
Counsel for the Respondents: Sarah Kromkamp (Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario, Toronto)