The mere fact that the plaintiff’s claim comprised so many pages and paragraphs compromised the ease with which defendants can discern the actual case and facts against them. That alone, according to the judge was embarrassing. The main problem arises out of the plaintiff’s desire to allege far too much against far too many defendants. The judge explained that: “This has led to a number of apparently insoluble problems, the first of which is that of embarrassment. ”
The mere volume of the pleadings presents a practicle difficulty which goes against the entire purpose of the Rules of the Supreme Court. These rules are meant to ensure that time is not thrown away and that both parties are not only fully aware of the main issues but how they will be argued. Too much time and effort will be lost by requiring defendants to fish through the voluminous pleadings. The judge went on to explain that: “It would be extremely difficult ever to be completely certain that an important allegation had not been overlooked or that the case was understood as intended.
” The judge also went onto explain the misuse of the civil process by the joinder of so many claims and defendants in a single complaint. The primary prejudice agains each of the defendants is cost and time. The primary “obstacle”, according to the judge is the: “…sheer magnitude of the case and its effect on interlocutory processes and, of course, on the trial itself. ” By way of example the judge referred to the conspiracy complaints which would by and large be proved by virtue of discovery and interrogatories.
Haivng to go this route in respect of twenty defendants and the myriad of facts and claims in respect of each one would only further delay the ultimate trial of the action. Another concern for the judge was the mere fact that cost is generally in the cause which means that even if the defendants are ultimately successful they will be required to fund their defence until judgment is issued. The court ultimately ruled that the misuse of the civil process by the plaintiffs presented some material injustices for the defendants.
Those injustices were founded upon the premise that the defendants were required to sift through far too much material and to separate the plaintiff’s respective claims one from the other to discern which ones apply to them individually. As noted in Hamilton v Oades (1989) 166 CLR 486 by Deane and Gaudron JJ stated: “The inherent power of the court to control and supervise proceedings includes the power to take appropriate action to prevent injustice. ”