Certificates of Pending Litigation (CPLs) – Once a CPL is Discharged By Court Order it is an Abuse of Process to File a New CPL
Sourisseau & Co. won a decision in the B.C. Court of Appeal to have Certificates of Pending Litigation filed against our client’s property discharged for being an abuse of process. We had previously obtained an order that the Plaintiff post security of $150,000.00 to maintain their CPLs against the property. The Plaintiff failed to post the security as required by the order and their CPLs were discharged. The Plaintiff then filed new CPLs in the Land Title Office two days later and subsequently posted the security called for in the order. On an application to have the new CPLs removed, the Plaintiff argued that as it had subsequently posted the security, our clients were in the same position as if the Plaintiff had complied with the original order. The Chambers Judge declined to discharge the new CPLs.
Because of the nature of the Supreme Court order that resulted in the discharge of the CPLs initially, that order did not include an injunction to prevent the Plaintiff from filing further CPLs as is typically the case. Despite the lack of injunction against the Plaintiff, the Court of Appeal accepted our argument that once the CPLs had been discharged pursuant to a court order, the Plaintiff had no right to file further CPLs against the property and that doing so was an abuse of the court’s process and unlawful self-help.