An application to find a union in civil contempt for breaching an injunction against making noise while picketing at three Vancouver Airport Hotels failed because of the wording of the injunction, which only prohibited noise above 75bBA if made by various specified devices.
The evidence demonstrated that the noise was above the prohibited threshold but not if it was produced by specifically prohibited items: drums, microphones, speakers or megaphones.
Also on the show, costs were awarded against a strata corporation that embarked on ill-conceived litigation without a 3/4 majority vote to replace a building roof.
The case confirms that even though one of the owners who were taken to court had a lawyer assist them pro bono, and others were self-represented, this is not a reason to deny costs being awarded.
The reason for this is that costs are not only intended to help pay the legal expenses of a successful party, but they also serve other purposes: deterring frivolous actions or defences, encouraging conduct that saves time, encouraging settlement and the careful assessment of the strengths or weakness of cases.
The judge dealing with the costs award further concluded that the strata corporation’s lack of budget to pay costs also had no relevance. If a court order is made to pay costs, and they are not paid, an order could be obtained to remove the funds from the strata corporation’s bank account regardless of any budgetary considerations.
Finally, the judge concluded that the owners who were awarded costs would not be required to contribute to the expense incurred by the strata corporation.
Finally, on the show, the BC Court of Appeal has determined that the definition of a “person with a mental disorder” in the Mental Health Act includes someone who isn’t displaying symptoms of the mental disorder when their involuntary detention is being reviewed.
The Mental Health Act permits the involuntary treatment of people who have a mental disorder and who are a threat to themselves or others.
The case involved a man with an extended history of paranoid psychosis and self-harming behaviours for which he had been repeatedly hospitalized and certified for involuntary treatment. The behaviours would include cutting and burning himself.
The police had repeatedly taken the man to the hospital for treatment. He would receive antipsychotic medication that successfully prevented self-harm, but once released, the man would stop taking the medication and harm himself again.
The Court of Appeal concluded that the definition of a “person with a mental disorder” should be interpreted in accordance with the purpose of the act and the fact that the symptoms of a mental disorder were being controlled by medication at the time of a review didn’t mean that the person no longer met the definition.