Case Summary: Carter et al v Pasadena (Town)
6/11/2013 8:08 AM
In this case of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (Carter et al v Pasadena (Town),  188 NFLD & PEIR 222, 19 admin LR (3d) 293
), the applicants were land owners who were challenging the validity of a 1996 expropriation of their land by the Town of Pasadena. The applicants alleged that the town failed to comply with the notice provisions of the Expropriation Act
. This particular decision was the result of a preliminary motion brought by the respondents to determine whether the originating application was time barred by the six-month limitation period for an application for certiorari
(a type of writ seeking judicial review).
At paragraph 11, the court noted that the problem with declaratory relief is that the order is simply declaratory of the rights of the parties, but is not accompanied by any sanctions or means of enforcement. However, the court also noted that in practice, this deficiency does not prove problematic, in that it is expected that government and other public authorities will respect the declaratory judgement of the courts.
The court noted at paragraph 13 that declaratory relief is not available to correct an error of law or fact where the error is committed within the jurisdiction of the decision maker. The court noted that this proposition would not apply in the case at bar if, as the applicants alleged, the respondents failed to comply with the requirements of the Expropriation Act. The court said that such a failure would constitute an excess of jurisdiction.
In the result, the court dismissed the respondents’ preliminary motion and found that the originating application was not barred by the six-month limitation period for relief in nature of certiorari.
If you have questions or would like to discuss this topic further, please contact Jeremy P. Smith at Patterson Law at 1-888-897-2001.
Please note that this article is meant to provide information only and is not intended to confer legal advice or opinion. If you have any further questions please consult a lawyer. Please note as well that many of the statements are general principles which may vary on a case by case basis.