The Yukon Supreme Court has declared former Yukon government employee Juanita Wood, who has launched several legal actions related to her 2015 firing, a vexatious litigant. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon Supreme Court declares former YG employee a vexatious litigant

Former HPW heavy equipment operator ordered to pay $670 in costs

The Yukon Supreme Court has declared a former Yukon government employee who has launched several legal actions related to her 2015 firing a vexatious litigant.

In a 12-page decision issued July 20, Yukon Supreme Court Deputy Justice Gisele Miller wrote that Juanita Wood has “persistently instituted vexatious proceedings and conducted proceedings in a vexatious manner.”

The ruling was the result of an application the Yukon government filed to the court as Wood pursues her third petition related to her 2015 dismissal from her position as a heavy equipment operator with the Department of Highways and Public Works.

Currently, Wood is seeking a judicial review of the Yukon Human Rights Commission’s decision to not investigate her human rights complaint related to her firing. She’s also previously filed an unsuccessful complaint to the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, two other petitions for judicial review, a lawsuit against the Department of Highways and Public Works and an unsuccessful appeal after the lawsuit was deemed vexatious. She is also taking one of her unsuccessful petitions to the Yukon Court of Appeal.

The Yukon government’s application, filed May 17, asked for an order declaring Wood a vexatious litigant and prohibiting her from launching further court proceedings unless she receives approval from the Yukon Supreme Court. The application also requested that the court dismiss Wood’s current petition, but in his submissions July 19, Yukon government lawyer I.H. Fraser said that the government would be content with an order stating Wood would not be able to proceed further with her application with leave of the court.

In her submissions, Wood argued that she was not a vexatious litigant, pointing to the fact that only one of her legal actions — the lawsuit — had been declared vexatious. She also gave other reasons for why she stopped pursuing certain complaints, appeals or legal actions, which included not getting proper instructions, advice or clarifications on how certain complaints or legal processes work.

In her decision, however, Miller wrote that it was clear the Yukon Court of Appeal had also found Wood vexatious when, in quashing Wood’s appeal over her lawsuit, Justice David Harris wrote that the situation was “one of the rare cases in which the appeal should be quashed on the basis that it is devoid of merit and bound to fail.”

Miller found that Wood also acted vexatiously when she filed a petition seeking a judicial review of her termination in April 2017, filed an amended petition in November 2017 but then consented to having the petition dismissed in May 2018, days before the matter was set to go to trial.

In May 2018, another Yukon Supreme Court judge dismissed one of Wood’s petitions, striking her claim because it was vexatious. As the case is currently under appeal, Miller wrote that she did not include it in her count of Wood’s vexatious actions, but noted that she agreed with the judge’s findings.

“I direct myself, in determining whether Ms. Wood’s conduct is vexatious, to look at the whole history before me,” Miller wrote. “I am satisfied that Ms Wood has brought all of the proceedings noted above to determine the same issue: the validity of her dismissal from the Department of Highways and Public Works. I find that that issue has already been determined by courts of competent jurisdiction.”

Miller granted the Yukon government’s application, and also ordered Wood to pay the Yukon government $670 in costs.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Yukon courtsYukon government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read