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Supreme Court of Canada

Appeal—Jurisdiction—Amount in controversy—Inclusion of interest in computing amount—Supreme Court Act, ss. 39, 40.

Where the judgment of a court of first instance for recovery of a sum of money is affirmed by a provincial court of appeal, the interest running on the judgment of the court of first instance up to the date of the judgment of the court of appeal must be included in computing the “amount in controversy” (Supreme Court Act, s. 39) in the defendant’s further appeal to this Court.

MOTION to quash appeal for want of jurisdiction.

The action was to recover from the defendant (appellant) the sum of $2,000 damages, claimed on the ground that defendant had used certain promissory notes delivered to him, without the conditions alleged to have been attached to their use having been fulfilled.

Lennox J. gave judgment for the plaintiff, which was affirmed by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Ontario. The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the plaintiff moved to quash the appeal for want of jurisdiction, on the ground that the amount in controversy did not exceed $2,000.

Sections 39 and 40 of the Supreme Court Act (now R.S.C. 1927, c. 35), read as follows:

39. Except as otherwise provided by sections thirty-seven and forty-three, notwithstanding anything in this Act contained, no appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from a judgment rendered in any provincial court in any proceeding unless,—

(a) the amount or value of the matter in controversy in the appeal exceeds the sum of two thousand dollars; or,

[Page 155]

(b) special leave to appeal is obtained as hereinafter provided.

40. Where the right to appeal or to apply for special leave to appeal is dependent on the amount or value of the matter in controversy such amount or value may be proved by affidavit, and it shall not include interest subsequent to the date on which the judgment to be appealed from was pronounced or any costs.

The trial judge’s reasons for judgment stated that “there will be judgment * * * against the defendant Bridge for the amount claimed with costs * * *.” The formal judgment adjudged “that the plaintiff do recover from the defendant John Bridge the sum of $2,009.31and costs. The action was tried on February 2, 1926, and judgment was given on February 20, 1926. The plaintiff’s (respondent’s) solicitor, in an affidavit, claimed that the $9.31, which was apparently intended to cover subsequent interest, must have been included in the formal judgment through error, and that he did not notice it until the applications before the Appellate Division (in this action and in another action brought by another plaintiff on a similar claim in which the amount involved was $1,100) for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada (which applications were made immediately after the hearing and judgment in appeal, and were refused by the Appellate Division). On the present motion there was conflicting affidavit evidence as to certain facts in connection with the inclusion of the sum of $9.31 in the formal judgment at trial.

The motion to quash the appeal to this Court was dismissed with costs, the Court, without passing upon the question as to the inclusion of the $9.31 in the formal judgment of the trial court, expressing the view that, since interest on that judgment up to the date of the judgment of the Appellate Divisional Court must be included in computing the amount in controversy in the appeal, this Court had jurisdiction[1].

Motion refused with costs.

Geo. F. Henderson K.C. for motion.

Geo. F. Macdonnell contra.

 



[1] Hamilton v. Evans, [1923] S.C.R. 1, was not alluded to in the argument.

See also Dominion Cartage Co. v. Cloutier reported later in this volume.

The appeal to this Court in Bridge v. Eggett was dismissed, by judgment delivered orally after argument on the merits, on November 2, 1926.

 

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