Stock photo

Stock photo

Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

A Surrey mother and son who sued the Fraser Valley Christian Soccer Association (FVCSA) and several churches and individuals – including a Langley Member of Parliament – have been prohibited from filing any more lawsuits in B.C. provincial court.

Judge Kenneth Skilnick ruled Oct. 19 in Abbotsford provincial court that Morris and Gerarda (Gaya) Klos cannot begin any new proceedings unless they receive permission from the courts.

The ruling comes after the pair sought more than $30,000 in damages from 14 organizations and individuals. Skilnick dismissed all their claims, except one, and ordered that each defendant be reimbursed their $50 court filing fee.

According to court documents, the pair’s largest demand was for $16,000 from the Abbotsford-based FVCSA after the organization terminated Morris’s seasonal work as a referee after 15 years.

The pair stated in their notice of civil claim that Morris was dismissed from his role “in front of an audience, publicly, at a playoff game” in Abbotsford.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Giants named in nation-wide lawsuit claiming teen player abuse

He said he was initially denied a hearing, and was “then offered a hearing and surreptitiously (the association) called police upon his attendance, resulting in further public shaming.”

Morris refereed approximately 15 soccer games per year and was paid $60 to $70 per game, the court documents state.

He sought damages for wrongful dismissal, saying he had been an employee of the FVCAS, but the judge disagreed.

“As a general rule, persons who officiate sports for non-professional leagues are not considered to be employees of those leagues,” Skilnick said.

The mother and son also sued five Maranatha and Canadian Reformed churches in Langley, Aldergrove, Abbotsford and Yarrow for what they said was the churches’ “refusal to intervene, public shaming” in Morris’s dismissal from the FVCSA.

Some of the individuals named in the lawsuit are members of those churches.

Morris also claimed that he was denied participation in the “Lord’s Supper Celebration” at one of the churches and that he was “forced to sit in a public display of discipline” that was shared online.

Morris sought an order requiring the churches and individuals to provide a “video apology” and that any money ordered to be paid by the churches be paid to Revenue Canada and that their charitable status be suspended for one year.

Also named in the lawsuit was Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako Van Popta, for whom Morris was seeking a court order to have him go on an “escorted prison tour.”

According to the court documents, Morris worked for Corrections Canada more than a decade ago.

Another claim listed in the lawsuit relates to a dispute over a rental agreement.

Most of the claims were dismissed by Skilnick because he said they did not identify any legal wrongdoing. He said the claims also needlessly took up the defendants’ time to file a reply, pay the filing fee and attend court appearances.

“The time utilized in court to address an insubstantial claim is time that could be utilized for more deserving cases, such as those involving the future of children in care or criminal cases that might otherwise be dismissed for delay,” Skilnick said.

“To require defendants in these cases to do all of this us response to a claim that has no chance of success is not only unfair, it is also vexatious and is an abuse of the court’s process.”

Skilnick allowed only one of the pair’s claims to proceed – against a real estate company in relation to the sale of a home that they say was undervalued and for which they are suing for almost $10,000.

ALSO READ: Lawsuit alleges NHL, junior leagues working together to limit players’ opportunities



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

lawsuit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

Chilliwack’s Ryan Wugalter with his kids, three-year-old Mira and 15-month-old Solomon. Wugalter recently released his children’s album Super Giraffe. (Submitted)
Chilliwack father releases children’s album, songs about superhero giraffe and not eating magnets

Inspiration for Ryan Wugalter’s new album ‘Super Giraffe’ came from his two young kids

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

The 2021 city-wide literacy event this year is a reading challenge for Chilliwack. (Chilliwack Literacy Society)
City-wide reading challenge goal for Chilliwack is to create a reading habit

The 2021 city-wide literacy challenge runs March 1 to 21 all for the love of reading

Dr. Vera Nyirenda of Chilliwack is being awarded with a National Congress of Black Women Foundation 2021 Legacy Award on Saturday. (ncbwf.org)
Chilliwack doctor recognized during Black History Month for contributions to health care

Dr. Vera Nyirenda awarded with National Congress of Black Women Foundation 2021 Legacy Award

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read