To Dismiss or Not to Dismiss: The Law of Status Hearings in Ontario
January 04, 2011
In most cases, the status notice is treated almost like an after-thought by counsel: plaintiffs who have sat on their hands since commencing the action will all of a sudden reappear, seeking the defendant's consent to an aggressive timetable as if such consent was guaranteed. Many defendants, though fussed at having to dust off the file, will nonetheless agree to some form of timetable, much to the chagrin of their clients who anticipated a speedy dismissal of the action. While the jurisprudence that does exist in the status hearing context has attempted to provide guidance regarding the application of rule 48.14, that case law is relatively sparse and, at times, inconsistent. This article describes the most principled and jurisprudentially supported approach to be taken at a status hearing, including the relevant factors to be considered. It also reviews the proper means of challenging a status hearing dismissal, including the appropriate standard of review, and the costs considerations that are relevant in the status hearing context. “To Dismiss or Not to Dismiss: The Law of Status Hearings in Ontario” (201) Adv. Q. 37:3 at 339.