1 2003 Which Court has Jurisdiction? By Patricia Lawson
2 TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE NO. The Law of Ontario 1-11 The Law of Quebec Practical Tips 17 The Relevant Factors as set out in Muscutt Summary of Ontario Court of Appeal Cases 20 25
3 Due to the close proximity of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, and the number of people who reside in one jurisdiction but work, carry on business or visit in the other jurisdiction on a frequent basis, those of us who practice law in this area are often faced with files that have interprovincial questions. We may also have cases in which international conflicts of law rules must be examined, especially personal injury or contract cases. In this seminar, we will deal with the question of whether a court, in Ontario or in Quebec, will assume jurisdiction over a matter that has inter-provincial or international aspects, and how courts interpret the forum non conveniens rules and case law. We will also provide some practical tips on managing a choice of law file. In our examination of the law of Ontario, we have emphasized tort actions, that is a case where a resident of Ontario has suffered injuries in another province or another country, and then seeks to proceed before the court of Ontario. Often, these cases involve automobile accidents. Thanks to the no-fault regime in place in Quebec, automobile accidents are no longer litigated, and we have emphasized contract cases in our Quebec analysis. The same criteria would apply to delict cases in Quebec, however. THE LAW OF ONTARIO We are fortunate to have six recent decisions of the Court of Appeal for Ontario which deal with interprovincial and international tort actions. Five of these decisions were rendered at the same time, after a joint hearing before Justices Sharpe, Rosenberg and Feldman. Four of the decisions involved international fact situations, and one was an interprovincial case. A summary of each of these cases is found at the end of this paper. The case which sets out the test to be applied in determining the choice of law is Muscutt and Johnston v. Courcelles, Simpson, Ducharme-Gullins and Guardian Ambulance (Ontario Court of Appeal, Docket no. C35934, decision on merits rendered May 29, 2002). This is the pivotal case in the choice of law field in Ontario, and I therefore will discuss that decision in depth. This decision sets out the test to be followed when assessing whether a court will assume jurisdiction against an out-of-province defendant on the basis of damage sustained in Ontario as a result of a tort committed elsewhere. Muscutt provides an excellent overview of the development of the rules on conflict of laws and forum non conviens in Canada. Rather than attempt to reinvent the wheel, I am including a summary of that overview, as it is helpful in understanding the recent decisions. FACTS IN MUSCUTT On November 12, 1999, the Plaintiff, Chris Muscutt, was a passenger in a vehicle owned by the defendant Simpson and driven by the defendant Ducharme-Gullins, which was involved in an accident in Cochrane, Alberta. The vehicle was struck by an ambulance driven by the defendant Courcelles and owned by the defendant Guardian Ambulance. Mr. Muscutt suffered a serious spinal process fracture.
4 Mr. Muscutt had moved to Alberta from Ontario three weeks prior to the accident. He underwent treatment initially in Alberta, then returned to live with his mother in London, Ontario. He received extensive on-going medical care in Ontario. All of the defendants were residents of Alberta at the time of the accident. Mr. Muscutt brought the action in Ontario, claiming damages for pain and suffering, loss of income and loss of business opportunity. His statement of claim was served on the defendants in Alberta without leave pursuant to Rule 17.02(h). The defendants Simpson and Ducharme-Gullins moved pursuant to Rule and s. 106 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C43, to set aside service and stay the action. They also challenged the constitutional validity of Rule 17.02(h), arguing it was ultra vires the province because of its extra-territorial effect. ISSUES This appeal raised three issues. Briefly, those issues and the decisions of the Court of Appeal are: 1. Is Rule 17.02(h) ultra vires the province? The Court of Appeal determined that Rule 17.02(h) is intra vires the province. It is procedural in nature and does not determine jurisdiction. Rule is a rule that allows for service of proceedings outside of the province, and reads in part as follows: A party to a proceeding may, without a court order, be served outside Ontario with an originating process or notice of a reference where the proceeding against the party consists of a claim or claims, ( ) (h) in respect of damage sustained in Ontario arising from tort, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of confidence, wherever committed ( ) The Court of Appeal found that the fact that service is valid does not mean that the court can automatically assume jurisdiction or that the question of forum non conveniens will not be investigated. Rather, even if service is validated, the defendant has several means for challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the basis that the real and substantial connection test has not been met. The Court of Appeal found that Morguard Investments Ltd. v. De Savoye,  3 S.C.R and Hunt v. T&N plc.,  4 S.C.R. 289 impose constitutional limits on the assumption of jurisdiction by a court against extra-territorial defendants, and that the procedural scheme adequately allows for jurisdictional challenges to ensure that these limits are respected. The Court includes in this procedural scheme: Rule 17.06(1), which allows a defendant to move to have the service set aside or the proceeding stayed if the Court is satisfied that Ontario is not a convenient forum for the hearing of the proceedings; 106 Courts of Justice Act, which provides that a court may stay any proceeding in the court on such terms as are considered just; Rule 21.01(3)(a), whereby a defendant may move before a judge to have an action stayed or dismissed on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action).
5 2. Did the motions court judge err in finding that the Ontario Superior Court could assume jurisdiction against the out-of-province defendants? The Court of Appeal found that a fair weighing of the factors outlined clearly favours the Court assuming jurisdiction in this case. It confirms the finding of the motions court judge that the real and substantial connection test has been met. 3. Did the motions court judge err in refusing to exercise his discretion to decline jurisdiction on the ground that Ontario is not the forum conveniens? The motions court judge properly took into account the factors relevant to this case, including the location of the parties, the location of key witnesses and evidence, and the applicable law. On the basis of these factors, the motions court judge was entitled to conclude that Ontario is the most convenient forum for the action. ANALYSIS According to the Court of Appeal, this conflict of law question emerges from a rapidly evolving area of law. Until the early 1990s, this area was governed by a set of rigid common law rules that developed in England in the 19 th century. The traditional approach was concerned with a state s interference with the territorial sovereignty of another state. Until 1975 in Ontario, the plaintiff was required to obtain leave of the court by ex parte motion before serving process outside the jurisdiction. In tort cases, judicial interpretation favoured a strict place of acting theory that forced domestic plaintiffs to sue foreign tortfeasors elsewhere. However, the decisions in Morguard Investments Limited v. De Savoye,  3 S.C.R and Hunt v. T&N plc.,  4 S.C.R. 289 rewrote the law of jurisdiction and enforcement. The Supreme Court held that the principles of order and fairness require limits on the reach of provincial jurisdiction against out-of-province defendants and that jurisdiction can only be asserted against an out-of-province defendant on the basis of a real and substantial connection. However, the Court also held that the courts of one province must give full faith and credit to the judgments of the courts of a sister province where the real and substantial connection test is satisfied. In Tolofson vs. Jenson; Lucas (Litigation Guardian of) vs. Gagnon,  3 S.C.R. 1022, the Supreme Court of Canada introduced the rule that tort cases should be governed by the law of the place where the tort was committed. In Amchem Products Inc. vs. British Columbia (Workers Compensation Board),  1 S.C.R. 897, the Supreme Court of Canada elaborated the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the discretionary power of the courts to decline to exercise jurisdiction where the case is more appropriately dealt with in another jurisdiction. ASSUMED JURISDICTION The appeal in Muscutt raised the issue of assumed jurisdiction. The Court found that while assumed jurisdiction is initiated by service of the court s process out of
6 the jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 17.02, the rule does not, however, confer jurisdiction over a matter upon a court absolutely. Rather, rule 17.02(h) represents a legislative response to the type of problem confronted by the Supreme Court of Canada in Moran vs. Pyle National (Canada) Ltd.,  1 S.C.R. 393, a product liability case. At pages 408-9, the Court held: Where a foreign defendant carelessly manufactures a product in a foreign jurisdiction which enters into the normal channels of trade and he knows or ought to have known that as a result of its carelessness a consumer may well be injured and it is reasonably foreseeable that the product would be used or consumed where the plaintiff used or consumed it, then the forum in which the plaintiff suffered damage is entitled to exercise judicial jurisdiction over that foreign defendant. This damage sustained rule has been given a generous and liberal interpretation. However, it is now subject to the principles articulated in Morguard regarding the need for a real and substantial connection and the need for order, fairness and jurisdictional restraint. The damage sustained rule led to cases where a tort can be committed elsewhere, with the victim suffering damages in Ontario, allowing the Ontario court to assume jurisdiction. Prior to Morguard, an extra-provincial judgment was recognized and enforced only if the defendant was physically present within the rendering jurisdiction when the action was commenced, or if the defendant had consented to the jurisdiction. Morguard establishes that the proper exercise of jurisdiction depends upon two principles: 1. A need for order and fairness and jurisdictional restraint ; 2. A real and substantial connection. Morguard did not deal explicitly with constitutional limits on the reach of provincial laws. In Hunt, the court gave the principles from Morguard constitutional force, holding that these principles are constitutional imperatives that apply to the legislature as well as the court. It held that provinces are required to respect the minimum standards of order and fairness addressed in Morguard and that courts are required, by constitutional restraints, to assume jurisdiction only where there are real and substantial connections to that place. At page 325 in Hunt, the court held: The exact limits of what constitutes a reasonable assumption of jurisdiction were not defined [in Morguard], and I add that no test can perhaps ever be rigidly applied; no court has ever been able to anticipate all of these. The Court also held that the real and substantial connection test was not meant to be a rigid test, but was simply intended to capture the idea that there must be some limits on the claims to jurisdiction and that the assumption of and the discretion not to exercise jurisdiction must ultimately be guided by the requirements of order and fairness, not a mechanical counting of contacts or connections. The Court looked at the relationship between assumed jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement. In other words, where a court has assumed jurisdiction and rendered a judgment against the defendant, the court that is asked to enforce
7 that judgment, in accordance with the principles of order and fairness, must look at the contacts that jurisdiction may have to the defendant or the subject matter. There must be some limits to the exercise of jurisdiction against persons outside the province if the courts of one province are to be expected to give effect to judgments given in another province. In Tolofson, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the same test and the same need for restraint applied to both assumed jurisdiction and jurisdiction for recognition and enforcement purposes. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN ASSUMED JURISDICTION AND FORUM NON CONVENIENS: Where more than one forum is capable of assuming jurisdiction, the most appropriate forum is determined through the forum non conveniens doctrine, which allows a court to decline to exercise its jurisdiction on the ground that there is another forum more appropriate to entertain the action. The courts have developed a list of several factors that may be considered in determining the most appropriate forum for the action, including: The location of the majority of the parties; The location of key witnesses and evidence; Contractual provisions that specify applicable law or accord jurisdiction; The avoidance of a multiplicity of proceedings; The applicable law and its weight in comparison to the factual questions to be decided; Geographical factors suggesting the natural forum; Whether declining jurisdiction would deprive the plaintiff of a legitimate juridical advantage available in the domestic court. Thus, it is a two-step test. Firstly, the court determines if there is a real and substantial connection. If not, then the analysis ends here and the court is prevented from unduly entering into matters in which the Court has little interest. Secondly, where the real and substantial connection test has been met, a court may still refuse to exercise jurisdiction where, under the rule elaborated in Amchem, there is a more convenient or appropriate forum elsewhere. This was the finding in Tolofson. While the real and substantial connection test is a legal rule, the forum non conveniens test is discretionary. In Lemmex vs. Bernard (2000), 51 O.R. (3d) 164 at 172, the divisional court refers to the real and substantial connection test as jurisdiction simpliciter and differentiates that from forum non conveniens. It has also been stated that the real and substantial connection test requires only a real and substantial connection, not the most real and substantial connection. RESPONSES TO ISSUES Issue 1: Is Rule 17.02(h) ultra vires the province? No. As stated above, at page 2, the Court found that the Rule is procedural in nature and that it does not by itself confer jurisdiction. A party who is served in accordance with Rule 17.02(h) has several means of challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
8 Issue 2: Did the motions court judge err in finding that the Ontario Superior Court could assume jurisdiction against the out-of-province defendants? The Court analyses the case law by considering two approaches: a. The personal subjection approach, under which jurisdiction is legitimate if the defendant regularly lived or carried on business in the province, or if the defendant voluntarily did something that related to the province so as to make it reasonable to contemplate that he or she might be sued in the province. b. The administration of justice approach, which is broader and pursuant to which the forum need only meet a minimum standard of suitability, under which it must be fair for the case to be heard in the province because the province is a reasonable place for the action to take place. A. The personal subjection approach The personal subjection approach has been followed in the United States and in several Canadian decisions at the trial level. The Court of Appeal prefers the broader administration of justice approach, basing its decision on the weight of post-morguard appellate authority which holds that a real and substantial connection may be found on a broader basis than personal subjection. Several cases found that a real and substantial connection could be based on a connection either with the defendant or with the subject matter of the litigation, and these cases are canvassed in the Court of Appeal decision. The Court refers to a Quebec Court of Appeal case which implicitly rejected a personal subjection approach, Spar Aerospace Ltd. c. American Mobile Satellite Corp.,  J.Q. no 1717 (C.A.), leave to appeal granted  S.C.C.A. No The Court of Appeal finds that Canadian courts should not adopt a personal subjection approach that requires minimum contact between the defendant and the forum. It holds that the real and substantial connection test should be interpreted as requiring a connection either between the forum and the defendant or between the forum and the subject matter of the action. The defendant s connection with the forum should not be determinative in the choice of forum, but should be a relevant factor to be weighed together with other factors. B. The relevant factors under the administration of justice approach: It is apparent from Morguard, Hunt and subsequent case law that it is not possible to reduce the real and substantial connection test to a fixed formula. The court must look at the facts of each case and remain flexible. But clarity and certainty are also important. Therefore, the court identifies the factors emerging from the case law that are relevant in assessing whether a court should assume jurisdiction against an out-of-province defendant on the basis of damage sustained in Ontario as a result of a tort committed elsewhere. No one factor is determinative. The court found that when weighing all of the relevant factors in the Muscutt case, it should assume jurisdiction. The eight factors are:
9 1. A connection between the forum and the plaintiff s claim; 2. The connection between the forum and the defendant; 3. Unfairness to the defendant in assuming jurisdiction; 4. Unfairness to the plaintiff in not assuming jurisdiction; 5. The involvement of other parties to the suit; 6. The court s willingness to recognize and enforce an extra-provincial judgment rendered on the same jurisdictional basis; 7. Whether the case is interprovincial or international in nature; 8. Comity and the standards of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement prevailing elsewhere. The Court of Appeal analyzed each factor and applied it to the facts in the Muscutt case. You will see that the court then applied the same factors to each of the other four cases decided on the same day, as summarized in the attached Case Summaries at pages 20 to A connection between the forum and the plaintiff s claim The forum has an interest in protecting the legal rights of its residents and affording injured plaintiffs generous access for litigating claims against tort feasors. In this case, the plaintiff required extensive medical attention in Ontario. His claim is, inter alia, for pain and suffering in Ontario. These damages represent a significant connection with Ontario. 2. The connection between the forum and the defendant The conduct of a defendant amounting to personal subjection provides a strong basis for assumed jurisdiction, but such conduct is not necessary in all cases. If conduct by the defendant makes litigation in the forum a foreseeable risk, this is also a basis for assumed jurisdiction. In this case, the facts did not show either personal subjection or conduct that makes litigation in the forum a foreseeable risk. Nonetheless, the court said that other factors must be considered. 3. Unfairness to the defendant in assuming jurisdiction The consideration of the defendant s position should not end with an enquiry as to acts or conduct that would render the defendant subject to the jurisdiction. The principles of order and fairness require further consideration. Some activities, by their very nature, involve a sufficient risk of harm to extra-provincial parties that any unfairness in assuming jurisdiction is mitigated or eliminated. In this case, the assumption of jurisdiction would not result in any significant unfairness to the defendants. The court considers that driving an automobile involves an inherent risk of harm to extra-provincial parties, and it looks at mandatory motor vehicle insurance requirements across Canada, the standard form Power of Attorney and Undertaking and the fact that the burden of
10 defending the suit will fall on the defendants insurer and not on the defendants themselves. 4. Unfairness to the plaintiff in not assuming jurisdiction The principles of order and fairness must also be considered in relation to the plaintiff. The interest of the plaintiff and defendant must be balanced. In this case, it would be inconvenient for the plaintiff to litigate in Alberta, especially given his injuries. 5. The involvement of other parties to the suit This bears upon the real and substantial connection test. The twin goals of avoiding a multiplicity of proceedings and avoiding the risk of inconsistent results are relevant considerations. Where the core of the action involves domestic defendants, that is Canadian defendants, the case for assuming jurisdiction is strong. Where the core of the action involves other foreign defendants, courts should be more wary of assuming jurisdiction simply because there is a claim against a domestic defendant. In this case, this factor is not a significant one. 6. The court s willingness to recognize and enforce an extra-provincial judgment rendered on the same jurisdictional basis The court must consider whether it would recognize and enforce an extraprovincial judgment against a domestic defendant rendered on the same jurisdictional basis, whether pursuant to common law principles or any applicable legislation. Where a court would not be willing to recognize and enforce an extraprovincial judgment rendered on the same jurisdiction basis, the court cannot assume jurisdiction, because the real and substantial connection test has not been met. The spirit of Morguard and Hunt favours recognition and enforcement of the judgments of the courts of sister provinces where jurisdiction has been assumed on the basis that serious damages have been suffered within the province as a result of a motor vehicle accident in another province. 7. Whether the case is interprovincial or international in nature The decisions in Morguard, Tolofson and Hunt suggest that the assumption of jurisdiction is more easily justified in interprovincial cases than in international cases. It is interesting that La Forest J. rendered a decision in all three cases on behalf of the Supreme Court of Canada. The fact that this is an interprovincial case clearly weighs in favour of assuming jurisdiction. 8. Comity and the standards of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement prevailing elsewhere Comity is the recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the legislative, executive or judicial acts of another nation. One aspect is that in fashioning jurisdictional rules, a court should consider the standards of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement that prevail elsewhere. In interprovincial cases, this consideration is unnecessary. However, in international cases, it may be helpful to consider international standards, particularly the rules governing assumed jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in the location in which the defendant is situated. Reference must be had to any
11 agreements to which Canada is a party and to whether or not service out of the jurisdiction is permitted for claims where damage was suffered in the jurisdiction. It should be noted that the United States only assumes jurisdiction for damage sustained within the jurisdiction in certain limited circumstances. The minimum contacts doctrine in the United States requires an act or conduct on the part of the defendant that amounts to personal subjection to the jurisdiction. As this is an interprovincial case, this factor is not applicable. Conclusion The Court of Appeal finds that the real and substantial connection test has been met. Then, it considers whether or not Ontario is the forum conveniens. Issue 3: Did the motions court judge err in refusing to exercise his discretion to decline jurisdiction on the ground that Ontario is not the forum conveniens? The Court of Appeal found that the motions court judge properly took into account the factors relevant to this case, including the location of the parties, the location of key witnesses and evidence, and the applicable law. On the basis of these factors, the motions court judge was entitled to conclude that Ontario is the most convenient forum for the action. Comment Attached please find a Case Summary of the other five recent Court of Appeal decisions. You will see that four of these decisions followed the criteria set out in Muscutt. In a further decision, the Court did not grant costs in four of the cases, and reserved the question of costs to the trial judge in the fifth case (Muscutt, the only case where Ontario can assume jurisdiction). The other case did not concern jurisdiction, as the defendant had attorned to the jurisdiction of Ontario, but does deal with choice of law questions. That case is Somers v. Fournier and Liberty Mutual Company, a decision by Justices Cronk, Finlayson and Carthy of June 27, The Court of Appeal decided that the substantive law of New York applies to the action, since the accident occurred in New York State. This is in keeping with Tolofson v. Jensen. However, it found that the Ontario law concerning costs and the cap on non-pecuniary general damages, as determined by the Supreme Court of Canada trilogy are matters of procedure to which Ontario law applies. Furthermore, pre-judgment interest was held to be a matter of the substantive law of Ontario, and was not allowed in this case, since the court will look to the substantive law of New York, where prejudgment interest is not allowed. This may be significant for the plaintiff, since the accident occurred in 1990.
12 THE LAW OF QUÉBEC Les articles 3134 à 3154 du Code civil du Québec sont les dispositions principales qui déterminent si les Cours du Québec ont compétence pour entendre un litige et qui traitent de la question de forum non conveniens. Nous vous suggérons de revoir ces articles attentivement avant de commencer votre étude d un dossier dans laquelle vous êtes appeler à rendre une opinion sur une question de conflit de lois. La règle de base se trouve à l article 3134 : «En l absence de disposition particulière, les autorités du Québec sont compétentes lorsque le défendeur a son domicile au Québec.» L exception à la règle se trouve à l article 3135 : «Bien qu elle soit compétente pour connaître d un litige, une autorité du Québec peut, exceptionnellement et à la demande d une partie, décliner cette compétence si elle estime que les autorités d un autre État sont mieux à même de trancher le litige.» Donc, nous voyons que le législateur a codifié la règle de forum non conveniens. Quant aux actions personnelles à caractère patrimonial, nous regardons les critères énoncés sous l article 3148 du Code civil du Québec : «Art Dans les actions personnelles à caractère patrimonial, les autorités québécoises sont compétentes dans les cas suivants : 1 o Le défendeur a son domicile ou sa résidence au Québec; 2 o Le défendeur est une personne morale qui n est pas domiciliée au Québec mais y a un établissement et la contestation est relative à son activité au Québec; 3 o Une faute a été commise au Québec, un préjudice y a été subi, un fait dommageable s y est produit ou l une des obligations découlant d un contrat devait y être exécutée; 4 o Les parties, par convention, leur ont soumis les litiges nés ou à naître entre elles à l occasion d un rapport de droit déterminé; 5 o Le défendeur a reconnu leur compétence. Cependant, les autorités québécoises ne sont pas compétentes lorsque les parties ont choisi, par convention, de soumettre les litiges nés ou à naître entre elles, à propos d un rapport juridique déterminé, à une autorité étrangère ou à un arbitre, à moins que le défendeur n ait reconnu la compétence des autorités québécoises.»
13 Les décisions fondamentales dans ce domaine sont, nécessairement, les décisions de la Cour suprême du Canada dans les causes Morguard, Tolofson, Hunt et Amchem. L importance de ces décisions fait partie de l analyse par la Cour d appel de l Ontario dans Muscutt, et nous vous invitons de consulter la première partie de l analyse de la cause Muscutt ci-haut. Il existe une multitude de décisions sur l interprétation de ces articles du CCQ. Nous vous invitons à consulter la décision de Monsieur le Juge André Rochon dans l affaire H. L. Boulton & Co. S. A. C. c. Banque Royale du Canada  R.J.Q. 213, J.E , une décision fondamentale dans ce domaine. Dans cette cause, la Cour supérieure du district de Montréal a accueilli une requête pour exception déclinatoire faite par la banque défenderesse, qui avait son siège social à Montréal. La demanderesse est une compagnie vénézuélienne. Un tiers, qui a sa place d affaires en Colombie-Britannique, a conclu un contrat avec la demanderesse qu on lui transfère le bénéfice d une lettre de crédit délivrée au tiers par une banque située à Hong Kong. L acceptation du transfert de la lettre de crédit s est faite à Vancouver, de même que la présentation des documents requis aux termes de la lettre de crédit. La banque défenderesse a confirmé à Vancouver la lettre de crédit délivrée à l origine de Hong Kong. Le paiement devait aussi avoir lieu à Vancouver, où la demanderesse intimée a une place d affaires. L ensemble des témoins, tant de la banque défenderesse que du tiers, résident en Colombie-Britannique. Monsieur le Juge Rochon note qu il est établi que la Cour suprême de la Colombie-Britannique a compétence pour entendre un litige comme celui à l étude. Donc, il est important à noter que les avocats, probablement de la banque défenderesse, ont fait la preuve de la loi de la Colombie-Britannique. La banque défenderesse demande à la Cour de décliner compétence en vertu de l article 3135 du Code civil du Québec. Monsieur le Juge André Rochon a pris en considération les critères utilisés en common law, notamment dans les autres provinces canadiennes, c est-à-dire que la Cour doit décliner compétence si elle estime que les autorités d un autre état sont mieux à même de trancher le litige. Pour ce faire, elle doit évaluer les liens réels et substantiels qui existent entre l action et le tribunal, la disponibilité des témoins, la loi applicable au litige et le degré de rattachement du litige avec l autorité appelée à le trancher. Selon Monsieur le Juge Rochon, il n existe aucun motif pour ne pas appliquer au Québec des critères semblables à ceux qui prévalent dans les autres provinces canadiennes, de façon à servir les intérêts des justiciables au Canada. Dans cette cause, le seul et unique point de rattachement avec la province du Québec est le siège social de la défenderesse requérante. Monsieur le Juge Rochon croit que ceci constitue un facteur très secondaire puisqu elle fait affaire partout au Canada. Le domicile du défendeur est généralement le fondement de la compétence du tribunal en droit privé intérieur, mais une telle règle n existe pas en droit international privé. Il a pris en considération le fait que la convention internationale qui régit les parties, selon leur contrat, prévoit que c est le droit intérieur du lieu de la convention et du paiement qui doit servir à l application des règles prévues à cette convention, soit, en l espèce, le droit en vigueur en Colombie-Britannique. De plus, en droit international privé, en matière de lettre de crédit, c est l endroit où la lettre de crédit est payable qui constitue le situs.
14 Donc, la Cour supérieure du Québec a décliné compétence, car le Québec n est pas le forum conveniens. Amchem Products Inc. c. Colombie-Britannique (Workers Compensation Board),  1 R.C.S. 897 Quoiqu il ne l a pas cité directement dans le texte de son jugement, le jugement de la Cour suprême du Canada dans Amchem Products Inc. c. Colombie- Britannique (Workers Compensation Board),  1 R.C.S. 897 est cité à la fin du jugement de Monsieur Juge Rochon. Amchem est l un des jugements des plus importants dans ce domaine au Québec et au Canada. Les faits, brièvement, sont les suivants: 194 personnes réclament des dommages d une compagnie domiciliée dans l état de Texas car elles prétendent avoir subi un préjudice corporel à la suite de l expostion à l amiante ou bien elles sont des personnes à charge de personnes décédées ayant souffert d amiantose. La plupart des demandeurs étaient des résidents de la Colombie-Britannique quand ils ont subi des dommages.la Workers Compensation Board de la Colomie- Britannique est subrogée dans les droits de la plupart de ces appelants. Aucun des intimées n a de lien avec la Colombie Britannique. Les demandeurs ont entamé action en Texas en Le tribunal texan s est déclaré compétent. Par la suite, les sociétés d amiante ont demandé avec succès à la Cour suprême de la Colomie-Britannique des injonctions tendant à empêcher la poursuite des instances introduites par les appelants au Texas. Les injonctions ont été confirmées en appel. La Cour Suprême du Canada a accueilli l appel et a décidé que la Texas est le forum approprié. Selon la Cour Suprême, un tribunal ne doit admettre une demande d injonction contre les pousuites que lorsqu une grave injustice résultera de l omission par un tribunal étranger de se récuser en application du critère du forum non conveniens. Le critère du forum non conveniens est l existence d un autre tribunal, plus comode et plus approprié pour la poursuite de l action et pour la réalisation des fins de la justice. La perte d un avantage juridique n est qu un facteur parmi ceux dont la cour tient compte pour déterminer le tribunal approprié, et n est pas une condition distincte à considérer.le tribunal doit rechercher les facteurs de rattachement, c est à dire les facteurs d ordre pratique ou pécuniaire (tels que la disponibilité des témoins) et des facteurs tels que la loi applicable à l opération en cause et le lieu de résidence des parties ou le siège de leur activité. La Cour Suprême fait reférence aux causes telles Spiliada Maritime Corp c. Cansulex Ltd.,  A.C. 460 et de Dampierre c. de Dampierre, 2 W.L.R (H.L.). De plus, le fait qu un tribunal étranger s est déclaré compétent dans des circonstances qui sont compatibles avec l application des principes conçus pour déterminer le tribunal le plus approprié est un facteur important qui milite contre la demande d injonction. Une autre décision qui est intéressante est celle de Amiel Distributions Ltd. c. Amana Company L. P., une décision de la Cour d appel du Québec en date du 22 juillet C est une décision écrite par Madame la Juge Otis à laquelle souscrive Madame la Juge Marie Deschamps (maintenant de la Cour suprême du Canada) et Monsieur le Juge François Pelletier. Encore une fois, ce sont les questions contractuelles qui font l objet de la cause. La demanderesse est une compagnie québécoise qui a transigé avec la défenderesse, une compagnie
15 américaine, pendant plusieurs années. Quand la défenderesse a décidé de se prévaloir d une clause de leur contrat pour mettre fin au contrat, deux actions ont été entamées, l une au Québec et l autre aux États-Unis. La décision de la Cour d appel est conforme aux articles du Code civil du Québec, et vous remarqueriez l importance de ces articles dans la décision. La Cour d appel n a pas vu la nécessité d aller beaucoup plus loin que le CCQ, car la réponse aux questions en litige se trouve parmi ces articles. Malgré le fait qu une action sur compte était déjà intentée aux États-Unis, la Cour a décidé que la Cour du Québec est compétente pour entendre une action en dommages-intérêts fondée sur la résiliation abusive du contrat, et ce, en vertu de la législaton du Québec. La Cour refuse d émettre une ordonnance de sursis, car les deux recours ne reposent pas sur le même fondement, ils ne visent pas le même objet et ils ne seront pas décidés en vertu des mêmes règles de droit. Finalement, nous vous invitons à lire le jugement dans la cause Nationale du Canada, compagnie d assurance-vie c. Travailleurs unis des transports, J.E , une décision du Juge Jean-François de Grandpré daté du 12 juillet Le tribunal était saisi de deux exceptions déclinatoires visant à faire rejeter l action et déclarer que la cour supérieure du Québec, n est pas le forum approprié pour statuer sur l action de la demanderesse. Dans sa décision, Monsieur le Juge de Grandpré examine l article 3135 du Code civil et il cite le jugement du Juge Pidgeon, alors qu il était à la Cour d appel, dans Oppenheim forfait GMBH c. Lexus Maritime, REJB (C.A.) : «Le juge saisi d un moyen déclinatoire doit considérer plusieurs facteurs afin de déterminer s il est en présence d une situation exceptionnelle. Au cours des dernières années, les tribunaux ont précisé le sens et la portée de l article 3135 C.c.Q. Les critères à considérer comprennent, entre autres : 1. Le lieu de résidence des parties et des témoins ordinaires et experts; 2. La situation des éléments de preuve; 3. Le lieu de formation et d exécution du contrat qui donne lieu à la demande; 4. L existence et le contenu d une autre action intenté à l étranger et le progrès déjà effectué dans la poursuite de cette action; 5. La situation des biens appartenant au défendeur; 6. La loi applicable au litige; 7. L avantage dont jouit la demanderesse dans le for choisi; 8. L intérêt de la justice; 9. L intérêt des deux parties; 10. La nécessité éventuelle d une procédure en exemplification à l étranger.
16 Aucun de ces critères n est déterminant en soi, il faut plutôt les évaluer globalement et garder à l esprit que le résultat de leur application doit désigner de façon claire un forum unique. Donc, s il ne se dégage pas une impression nette tendant vers un seul et même forum étranger, le tribunal devrait alors refuser de décliner compétence particulièrement lorsque les facteurs de rattachement sont contestables.» Monsieur le Juge de Grandpré a analysé ces dix critères, et a conclu que la Cour supérieure du Québec est toute aussi apte à trancher le litige que la Cour supérieure de l Ontario. Donc, les deux requêtes ont été rejetées. Conclusion Donc, nous avons discuté des causes fondamentales dans ce domaine, et de quelques causes récentes qui ont traité des principes applicables à ce domaine de droit. Dans chaque cas particulier, il faut lire attentivement les articles du Code civil du Québec et suivre les étapes directives énoncées à la page 17.
17 PRACTICAL TIPS From a practical point of view, in my experience the most efficient way to deal with a file that has aspects of law from different jurisdiction is as follows: 1. Gather all of the facts and details concerning the connection to the various jurisdictions. 2. Where applicable, obtain a copy of the legislation in each of the jurisdictions, that applies to the contract or tort claim in your file. For instance, if it is an automobile accident and you are concerned with where a victim can claim accident benefits, obtain a copy of the Insurance Act and regulations for the jurisdiction where the victim is a resident, where the accident occurred, and for the jurisdiction of the plate of the vehicle if it is different from the other two. Also verify if there are any agreements between the two provinces or nations. 3. Review the case law or jurisprudence in each of the jurisdictions. There may be a leading case, such as what we have in Ontario and Québec, with a list of criteria that a court will consider in determining whether or not the court has jurisdiction. Ask your client for authorization to consult an expert in that jurisdiction. You cannot be expected to know the law of every province in Canada, and you certainly cannot be expected to know the law of other countries. 4. Make a list or table of the facts in your file that connect the case to each jurisdiction. The list should conform to the factors or criteria set out in Muscutt in Ontario and Oppenheim in Quebec. 5. Make a list of what your heads of damages will be, and add costs, prejudgement interest and post judgement interest to that list. Determine whether each jurisdiction will grant to your client each of the heads of damages. You will also want to consider whether there is a cap or limit to the amount of damages granted in each jurisdiction, whether there is a deductible and how the damages are calculated. There may be a tactical advantage to starting an action in one or the other jurisdiction. If you are acting for the defence, it may be in your client s interest to make a motion to have the court determine that it does not have jurisdiction or that this is not the most convenient forum. Each case must be analyzed carefully. Do not forget such questions as where your witnesses are located, what costs will be incurred in each jurisdiction, how exemplification of judgment is carried out (i.e. do you have to recommence the action). THE RELEVANT FACTORS UNDER THE BROADER APPROACH, AS SET OUT IN MUSCUTT AND FOLLOWED IN LEMMEX, GAJRAJ, LEUFKENS AND SINCLAIR The Ontario Court of Appeal has identified the factors emerging from the case law that are relevant in assessing whether a court should assume jurisdiction against
18 an out-of-province defendant on the basis of damage sustained in Ontario as a result of a tort committed elsewhere. No factor is determinative. The factors are: 1. A connection between the forum and the plaintiff s claim The forum has an interest in protecting the legal rights of its residents and affording injured plaintiffs generous access for litigating claims against tort feasors. 2. The connection between the forum and the defendant The conduct of a defendant amounting to personal subjection provides a strong basis for assumed jurisdiction, but such conduct is not necessary in all cases. If conduct by the defendant makes litigation in the forum a foreseeable risk, this is also a basis for assumed jurisdiction. 3. Unfairness to the defendant in assuming jurisdiction The consideration of the defendant s position should not end with an enquiry as to acts or conduct that would render the defendant subject to the jurisdiction. The principles of order and fairness require further consideration. Some activities, by their very nature, involve a sufficient risk of harm to extra-provincial parties that any unfairness in assuming jurisdiction is mitigated or eliminated. In Muscutt, the court considered that driving an automobile involves an inherent risk of harm to extra-provincial parties and looked at mandatory motor vehicle insurance requirements across Canada, the standard form Power of Attorney and Undertaking and the fact that the burden of defending the suit will fall on the defendants insurer and not on the defendants themselves. 4. Unfairness to the plaintiff in not assuming jurisdiction The principles of order and fairness must also be considered in relation to the plaintiff. The interests of the plaintiff and defendant must be balanced. 5. The involvement of other parties to the suit This bears upon the real and substantial connection test. The twin goals of avoiding a multiplicity of proceedings and avoiding the risk of inconsistent results are relevant considerations. Where the core of the action involves domestic defendants, that is Canadian defendants, the case for assuming jurisdiction is strong. Where the core of the action involves other foreign defendants, courts should be more wary of assuming jurisdiction simply because there is a claim against a domestic defendant. 6. The court s willingness to recognize and enforce an extra-provincial judgment rendered on the same jurisdictional basis The court must consider whether it would recognize and enforce an extraprovincial judgment against a domestic defendant rendered on the same jurisdictional basis, whether pursuant to common law principles or any applicable legislation. Where a court would not be willing to recognize and enforce an extraprovincial judgment rendered on the same jurisdictional basis, the court cannot assume jurisdiction, because the real and substantial connection test has not been met. The spirit of Morguard and Hunt favours recognition and enforcement of the judgments of the courts of sister provinces where jurisdiction has been assumed
19 on the basis that serious damages have been suffered within the province as a result of a motor vehicle accident in another province. 7. Whether the case is interprovincial or international in nature The decisions in Morguard, Tolofson and Hunt suggest that the assumption of jurisdiction is more easily justified in interprovincial cases than in international cases. It is interesting that La Forest J. rendered the majority decision in all three cases on behalf of the Supreme Court of Canada. 8. Comity and the standards of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement prevailing elsewhere Comity is the recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the legislative, executive or judicial acts of another nation. One aspect is that in fashioning jurisdictional rules, a court should consider the standards of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement that prevail elsewhere. In interprovincial cases, this consideration is unnecessary. However, in international cases, it may be helpful to consider international standards, particularly the rules governing assumed jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in the location in which the defendant is situated. Reference must be had to any agreements to which Canada is a party and to whether or not service out of the jurisdiction is permitted for claims where damage was suffered in the jurisdiction. It should be noted that the United States only assumes jurisdiction for damage sustained within the jurisdiction in certain limited circumstances. The minimum contacts doctrine in the United States requires an act or conduct on the part of the defendant that amounts to personal subjection to the jurisdiction.
20 Muscutt v. Courcelles et al (2002) Ontario Court of Appeal Decision of Sharpe J.A., with Rosenberg and Feldman JJ.A., concurring FACTS: Interprovincial case Plaintiff resident of Ontario Injured in auto accident in Alberta Defendants all residents of Alberta Treatment in Alberta, then in Ontario Action commenced in Ontario Defendants move to stay action, no real and substantial connection to Ontario, not the most convenient forum Defendants also move that R (h) is ultra vires the province : Decision: Rule 17.02(h) is intra vires the province After weighing all 8 factors, Ontario does have a real and substantial connection to the litigation Ontario is the most convenient forum DECISION: ONTARIO CAN ASSUME JURISDICTION CRITERIA APPLIED: refers to Morguard, Hunt, Tolofson v. Jensen; Lucas v. Gagnon, Amchem Products See Summary prepared 1 Yes there is a relevant connection between the plaintiff claim and the action; 2 No relevant connection between the forum and defendant; 3 Not unfair to the defendant; 4 Unfair to the plaintiff is not assumed; 5 No other parties; 6 Interprovincial; 7 Interprovincial; 8 Comity not an issue.
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