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Digest of the Week | Discovery of Documents

Digest of the Week | Discovery of Documents

British Columbia Court of Appeal considers the question of relevance in determining that the documents sought by plaintiff during discovery should be produced by the defendant.


Este v. Blackburn

British Columbia Court of Appeal

(2016), 2016 CarswellBC 3504, 2016 BCCA 496, Goepel J.A., Newbury J.A., Stromberg-Stein J.A. (B.C. C.A.); reversing in part Este v. Esteghamat-Ardakani (2016), 2016 CarswellBC 353, 2016 BCSC 233, Baker Master (B.C. S.C.) [British Columbia]



Plaintiff brought actions against defendant mother, brother, and common-law step-father, alleging breaches of trust in relation to certain family properties in one action and alleging defamation in other action while mother and brother brought counter-claim -- Plaintiff’s allegations included that step-father attended at police department and made false statements that plaintiff had deliberately set fire that destroyed her home in order to destroy documents that would implicate her in alleged tax evasion investigation -- Step-father was charged with arson in connection to such fire and giving false alibi to brother suspected of keying plaintiff's car -- Plaintiff's application for record of police interview was granted, with police directed to determine portions likely to be privileged or otherwise prejudicial to criminal proceeding against step-father and to provide balance to plaintiff -- Step-father appealed -- Appeal allowed in part -- Factual and legal context had changed materially, since police diverted charges against step-father to alternative measures program such that restrictions on disclosure contemplated by master were no longer necessary to protect his right to fair criminal trial -- As police provided step-father with unredacted transcript of statement, it was now situation of documents in possession of party -- Question of relevance weighed heavily in plaintiff''s favour, as one of pillars of her defamation claim was statement step-father gave to police in this interview and transcript would be best evidence of what step-father said to police -- Keying incident was clearly relevant both to defamation action and brother's counter-claim with respect to plaintiff's alleged statement to police implicating him that had led to later-withdrawn mischief charge -- Statement was likely less relevant to property action, but it would be artificial to differentiate between actions as both concerned relationship between parties in general sense -- Finding that police file was likely to prove or disprove material facts respecting plaintiff's claim had not been shown to be erroneous -- Step-father's assertion that his privacy should be protected by court order was not persuasive, as it was difficult to see how he had expectation of privacy in providing information to police -- Master's order would be set aside as largely moot, replaced with order requiring step-father to deliver unredacted document to plaintiff. Este v. Blackburn (2016), 2016 CarswellBC 3504, 2016 BCCA 496, Goepel J.A., Newbury J.A., Stromberg-Stein J.A. (B.C. C.A.); reversing in part Este v. Esteghamat-Ardakani (2016), 2016 CarswellBC 353, 2016 BCSC 233, Baker Master (B.C. S.C.) [British Columbia]
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