Agricultural Law NetLetter - Friday, August 7, 2015 - Issue 329


A Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has dismissed the unjust enrichment claim of one of three sons who took the position that he should have a one third share of the family farm based on farm work he did while growing up and his father's alleged promises that he would receive a share of the farm. The Court concluded that there was no basis in law to award a one third interest based on the bare promise that sometime in the future the father would transfer a one third interest to each son, and that any work done on the farm while growing up was part of family life and non-compensable. (Cory v. Cory, CALN/2015-018, [2015] B.C.J. No. 1543, British Columbia Supreme Court) ** NEW CASE LAW **

Cory v. Cory; CALN/2015-018, Full text: [2015] B.C.J. No. 1543; 2015 BCSC 1253, British Columbia Supreme Court, J.D. Truscott J., July 21, 2015.

Unjust Enrichment -- Farm Work Done While Growing Up -- Promises of Future Transfer of Farm Interests.

Clifford Hartnell Cory (the "Father") applied for a Court Order to strike, summary dismissal and dismissal pursuant to a summary trial, with respect to a claim advanced by his son, James Evan Cory ("James"). The Father's other sons, Clifford Charles Cory and John Allen Cory (the "Other Sons") were named as co-Defendants in the action.

The Father owned and operated a farm in Delta, B.C. He had three children, James and the Other Sons.

James claimed he worked on his Father's farm for many years while growing up and another 15 years after he reached adulthood.

He alleged he was doing planting, harvesting, fertilizing, irrigating, shop work and other farm activities. James alleged that his Father told him many times that he would receive a share of the family farm.

The Father transferred the farm to the Other Sons in 2014.

The Father stated that only one of his children worked on the farm after they reached adulthood -- John Allen Cory. He indicated that James did not work a significant amount on the farm, but that he was paid for any work he did. He said the majority interest in the farm was transferred to John Allen Cory in recognition for the work that he did on the farm.

The Father testified that in 2011, he transferred another property in Quesnel, B.C. to James.

The Father said he had no recollection of promising that his 3 sons would receive equal portions of the farm or the proceeds from the sale of the farm. He said he did not believe he was obligated to compensate James for the...

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