Court Allows Amendments To Include Defences Of Absolute And Qualified Privilege

Rule 6-1 of the British Columbia Supreme Court Civil Rules deals with the issue of amending pleadings.

 

In T.J.A. v. R.K.M., the Defendant sought to amend its’ pleadings by introducing the defences of absolute and qualified privilege, however the Plaintiff refused to agree, claiming he would be prejudiced by the amendments. The Court allowed the amendments.

 

[12]         Rule 6 – 1 (1) (b) (i) provides:

 

Rule 6-1 — Amendment of Pleadings

 

When pleadings may be amended

 

(1) Subject to Rules 6-2 (7) and (10) and 7-7 (5), a party may amend the whole or any part of a pleading filed by the party

(a) once without leave of the court, at any time before the earlier of the following:

(i) the date of service of the notice of trial, and

(ii) the date a case planning conference is held, or

(b) after the earlier of the dates referred to in paragraph (a) of this subrule, only with

(i) leave of the court, or

(ii) written consent of the parties of record.

 

[13]         In Langret Investments v. McDonnell, BCCA March 18, 1996 C.A. 020285 Vancouver Registry, Rowles J.A. for the Court, considering the predecessor rule to 6-1(1)(b)(i), held:

 

Rule 24(1) of the Rules of Court of British Columbia allows a party to amend an originating process or pleading.  Amendments are allowed unless prejudice can be demonstrated by the opposite party or the amendment will be useless.

 

[14]         The rationale for allowing amendments is to enable the real issues to be determined.  The practice followed in civil matters when amendments are sought fulfills the fundamental objective of the Civil Rules which is to ensure the “just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every proceeding on the merits”.

 

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