No Disclosure to Trial Judge

Ordinarily, the parties are not permitted to communicate with the judge about settlement offers or the negotiations relating to them. Rule 14.04 of the Rules of Small Claims Court stipulates that “if an offer to settle is not accepted, no communication about it or any related negotiations shall be made to the trial judge until all questions of liability and the relief to be granted, other than costs, have been determined.”

However, I had amended my pleadings to make out a claim for punitive damages since Rogers sent me their “Offer of Settlement” on October 4, 2006.

The leading case on punitive damages specifies that, “amongst other criteria, punitive damages are warranted when the behavior of the defendant is designed to force vulnerable parties to make an unfair settlement.”

To make my case for punitive damages, I had to first state my claim that Rogers had attempted to force me to make an unfair settlement. I did so at paragraphs 113 and following of my amended pleadings. I then needed to submit evidence to PROVE my claim: Rogers’ October 4, 2006 Offer of Settlement.

I believe my amended pleading with its attached exhibit brings me outside of the purview of Rule 14.04.

Rogers Wireless has not moved to strike their settlement offer from my pleadings nor argued my impropriety, in this regard, in their own amended pleadings of August 14, 2006