Civil Procedure Rules of Nova Scotia  
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Part 17 - Administration

Rule 88 - Abuse of Process

Scope of Rule 88
88.01 (1) These Rules do not diminish the inherent authority of a judge to control an abuse of the court’s processes.
  (2) This Rule does not limit the varieties of conduct that may amount to an abuse or the remedies that may be provided in response to an abuse.
  (3) This Rule provides procedure for controlling abuse.
       
Remedies for abuse
88.02 (1) A judge who is satisfied that a process of the court is abused may provide a remedy that is likely to control the abuse, including any of the following:
   
(a)
an order for dismissal or judgment;
   
(b)
a permanent stay of a proceeding, or of the prosecution of a claim in a proceeding;
   
(c)
a conditional stay of a proceeding, or of the prosecution of a claim in a proceeding;
   
(d)
an order to indemnify each other party for losses resulting from the abuse;
   
(e)
an order striking or amending a pleading;
   
(f)
an order expunging an affidavit or other court document or requiring it to be sealed;
   
(g)
an injunction preventing a party from taking a step in a proceeding, such as making a motion for a stated kind of order, without permission of a judge;
   
(h)
any other injunction that tends to prevent further abuse.
  (2) A person who wishes to make a motion under section 45B of the Judicature Act may do so by motion in an allegedly vexatious proceeding or a proceeding allegedly conducted in a vexatious manner, or by application if there is no such outstanding proceeding.
       
Unsustainable pleading
88.03 (1) It is not an abuse of process to make a claim, or raise a defence or ground of contest, that may on the pleadings alone be unsustainable, and such a claim, defence, or ground may be challenged under Rule 13 - Summary Judgment.
  (2) A party or the prothonotary may make a motion to strike a pleading on the basis that it amounts to an abuse of process.
       
Motion by prothonotary
88.04   A prothonotary’s motion to dismiss a proceeding on the basis of abuse may be made in appearance day chambers.
       
Separation of allegation that proceeding is abusive
88.05 (1) A judge may order that a defence or ground of contest alleging that a claim is an abuse of process be separated from the other issues raised in a proceeding and be tried or heard before the rest of the proceeding is determined.
  (2) A judge who is required to decide whether to separate a defence or ground of contest alleging abuse of process must consider all relevant factors, including each of the following:
   
(a)
whether facts to be found by the judge who determines the allegation of an abuse of process will also be in issue when the rest of the proceeding is determined;
   
(b)
if some facts will remain in issue, whether the benefit of avoiding a risk of contradictory findings of fact outweighs the disadvantage of continuing a proceeding, and conducting a trial or hearing in a proceeding, under an allegation that the proceeding itself is an abuse of the court’s process.
  (3) A judge who orders separation of a defence or ground of contest based on abuse of process may give directions for the determination of the defence or ground and, in an action, the directions may include that the determination continue under Rule 5 - Application.
       

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