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

Students sign to pledge their support of ending use of the 'R' word. (Contributed photo)
LETTER: Autistic woman says use of the R-word is a degrading reminder of how cruel the world can be

‘I am a person with autism and I know how it feels to be ridiculed, laughed and even feared’

Construction is expected to start in March of 2021 on 23 new rental homes funded by the provincial government’s Community Housing Fund. (Metro Creative photo)
Province announces rental home project in Chilliwack paid for by Community Housing Fund

Twenty three homes for Indigenous families are planned in partnership with Tzeachten First Nation

Shandhar Hut Indian Cuisine reopened Dec. 1, 2020 in Chilliwack after closing Nov. 19 as a precautionary move to keep everyone safe. (Shandhar Hut/Facebook)
Chilliwack restaurant reopens after closing temporarily as a precautionary step

‘We are so grateful to everyone for their kindness,’ says Shandhar Hut manager

Police say 30-year-old Andrew Baldwin was killed in Surrey on Nov. 11. (Photo: Police handout)
Fourth man charged in 2019 Surrey murder

Andrew Baldwin, 30, was killed on Remembrance Day last year

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

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

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read