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Unjust enrichment - which court? -clean hands?

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  • Unjust enrichment - which court? -clean hands?

    When you are only persuing an unjust enrichment claim, which court do you use?

    I don't want to make a mistake. It is clear that I could use family court if I have any other matter to be dealt with such as child support. I don't.

    Let me explain; I once helped put together a high school course in law. I was the intermediary between the lawyers and teachers. They argued with each other too much. At that time I was taught about equity. The courts are derived from common law. When the courts fail to do be able to do what is right because there are no applicable laws then at one time you could appeal to the king. If there were laws that dealt with the issue then you had to use the courts. The appeal to the king eventually was no longer dealt with by the king and the judges were given the right to hear cases of equity to fill in the gaps in the law.

    Unjust enrichment is outside the law. One of the criteria is that there be no legal reason for the enrichment. As my only action is outside the law does a case of equitable relief from unjust enrichment have standing before the court?

    From the courts of justice act;
    Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43
    Jurisdiction for equitable relief
    (3)Only the Court of Appeal and the Superior Court of Justice, exclusive of the Small Claims Court, may grant equitable relief, unless otherwise provided. 1994, c. 12, s. 38; 1996, c. 25, s. 9 (17).

    Oh wait, I *think* I answered my own question;
    It looks like the Family court is a branch of the superior court of justice at least for sure in the unified family courts.
    Family Court
    21.1 (1) There shall be a branch of the Superior Court of Justice known as the Family Court in English and Cour de la famille in French. 1994, c. 12, s. 8; 1996, c. 25, s. 9 (17).

    My other issue is that no-one has discussed clean hands. I have not seen any mention of clean hands on this web site.

    In equity the person asking for equity should have clean hands.

    Equitable Defenses
    The doctrine of clean hands holds that the plaintiff in an equity claim should be innocent of any wrongdoing or risk dismissal of the case. Laches proposes that a plaintiff should not "sleep on his or her rights"—that is, if the plaintiff knows of the defendant's harmful actions but delays in bringing suit, and the delay works against the rights of the defendant, the plaintiff risks dismissal of the case. Under modern law, such defenses are available in any civil case. They are nevertheless considered equitable because they invoke notions of fairness; are not provided in statutes; and are decided only by a judge, not by a jury.

    An easier to understand case would be where you lock the other person out of the house and it burns down under your care. You may have no claim to half of the insurance money.

    I believe the clean hands must relate to the issue of relief. That is adultery wouldn't make any difference to a claim for the house.

  • #2
    If you could tell the specifics of your situation that would be helpful to answering your question.


    • #3
      The question is can I go to family court with only a claim for unjust enrichment?
      No child support, No spousal support, no visitation issues.


      • #4
        yes go to superior court


        • #5
          Originally posted by bethers View Post
          yes go to superior court
          But... All other matters regarding custody, access and equalization will be dealt with on application too if you didn't deal with them yet.


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