Investigative Solutions Network Inc. files defence in Best vs Ranking lawsuit

(Above: ISN CEO Ron Wretham interviewed by CBC’s Peter Mansbridge about the mystery tunnel recently discovered near the York University campus and the Rexall Centre; a tennis venue for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games.)

Investigative Solutions Network Inc. is the first defendant to file a statement of defence in the Best vs Ranking et al lawsuit currently before Ontario Superior Court in Barrie, Ontario.

The February 12, 2015 statement of defence says in part:

“The defendant ISN is an Ontario corporation based in Pickering that is a full-service private investigations and training organization. The company provides investigative, security, training and screening services. The operating mind of ISN is Ron Wretham (“Wretham”).

In the Statement of Claim, the Plaintiff has lumped the defendant ISN into a group of defendants referred to as the “Van Allen Defendants.” At the time of the matters at issue in this action, the defendant Jim Van Allen (“Van Allen”) was employed as an Ontario Provincial Police officer. Van Allen has subsequently retired from the OPP. Van Allen is now a consultant to ISN in the capacity of an executive trainer and as a threat and risk assessment analyst.

At some time in the latter part of 2009, the defendant Van Allen, while an OPP officer, contacted Wretham of the defendant ISN to inquire if he knew the address of the Plaintiff. Van Allen was not a consultant to ISN at the time. Van Allen was familiar with Wretham as Wretham was a retired Toronto Police officer. Van Allen was aware that the Plaintiff was a former Toronto Police officer. Wretham did not know the address of the Plaintiff, so he referred Van Allen to the defendant Toronto Police Association (“TPA”). As a former member of the TPA, Wretham believed that the TPA kept address information on its former members including the Plaintiff.”

ISN’s full statement of defence is available as a PDF download here (471kb) and on our Court Evidence page.

PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean and all Barbados defendants default: fail to file defence in Ontario lawsuit

Ontario Civil Procedure Rules SAN

Claim: Defendants disobeyed Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure as deliberate strategy to ‘game’ legal system, delay process.

According to documents filed with Ontario Superior Court in the Donald Best vs Gerald Ranking civil lawsuit, after being served with the Statement of Claim and Jury Notice, all defendants from Barbados failed to file a defence, jurisdiction motion or otherwise respond to the lawsuit according to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure.

Under Ontario Rule 19.02 (1) (a), each of the defaulting Barbados defendants is therefore deemed to have admitted all of the facts in Mr. Best’s Statement of Claim and has deliberately abandoned their right to defend before the Ontario Superior Court in a $20 million dollar lawsuit.

The defaulting Barbados defendants include:

  • Kingsland Estates Limited
  • Richard Ivan Cox
  • Eric Iain Stewart Deane
  • Marcus Andrew Hatch
  • Philip St. Eval Atkinson
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean (formerly ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers’).

To ignore a civil lawsuit in Ontario is serious business that has real consequences in law, including a legal presumption that the defaulters are admitting that everything in the Statement of Claim is true.

Mr. Mark Polley of Polley Faith LLP lawyers had been writing letters for five of the six the Barbados defendants starting only on the last day before they started to default, October 24, 2014. Mr. Polley did not file any defence or jurisdictional challenge within the 60 days allowed under the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, or during eight weeks of courtesy time extensions. Presumably Mr. Polley acted upon instructions from each of his clients.

The Barbados defendants (with the exception of Mr. Deane, who has not been heard from since he was personally served in August 2014) recently brought a motion to have the court set aside their default, but this is apparently being contested by the plaintiff Donald Best as his lawyer Paul Slansky filed a counter motion.

Evidence filed with the court by the plaintiff states:

“From the start, Mr. Polley consistently, clearly and continually announced that his clients did not intend to respond to the Statement of Claim within the time allotted and in any manner consistent with the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. Despite multiple warnings over an eight-week time extension, Mr. Polley’s clients advertently decided to not file a Defence or to bring a motion to challenge jurisdiction.”

“…an obvious attempt to game the judicial system by deliberate and contrived delay.”

“I verily believe, and include evidence, that the Barbados Defendants’ and Deane’s joint default and failure to file a defence and/or jurisdictional motion to my Statement of Claim was deliberate and strategic, and came after their extensive consideration, almost certainly in legal consultation with senior lawyers and other defendants, as to the possible benefits, consequences and risks of this strategy to default. The default of all of these defendants shows a unity of purpose and a considered strategy amongst these parties.”

Will the court set aside or uphold the default of the Barbados defendants? The hearing is scheduled for March 13, 2015.

Here are court documents newly posted on the Court Evidence page at DonaldBest.CA:

As always we remind our readers that none of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge none of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here, to do independent research and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)