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

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read