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Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto

[1995] 2 S.C.R. 1130, 126 D.L.R. (4th) 129 (1995)

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Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto

Canada Supreme Court

[1995] 2 S.C.R. 1130, 126 D.L.R. (4th) 129 (1995)

Facts

Morris Manning (defendant), a member of the Church of Scientology of Toronto (the church) (defendant), held an outdoor press conference in Toronto during which he discussed allegations against Crown attorney Casey Hill (plaintiff). The allegations came from a notice of motion that the church intended to use to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Hill. The notice claimed that Hill had misled a judge and had violated orders sealing documents belonging to the church. The allegations were found to be false and unfounded at the contempt proceeding. Hill filed a libel action for damages against Manning and the church. At trial, Manning and the church were found jointly liable for 300,000 Canadian dollars in general damages, and the church was separately found liable for 500,000 Canadian dollars in aggravated damages and 800,000 Canadian dollars in punitive damages.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cory, J.)

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