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Stoffman v Ontario Veterinary Association (1990), 73 OR (2d) 737 (Ont Div Ct)


S is a veterinary surgeon and member of OVA. A dog owner lost a dog and found it dead; filed a complaint with OVA. The OVA didn’t institute a disciplinary hearing.

Dog owner filed another complaint. The OVA proceeded with a disciplinary hearing. S found not guilty. S sued the association for malicious prosecution.

At trial, the decision was based on policy reasons: there should be no action against a self-regulating professional association for disciplinary proceedings against one of its members.


Can S sue a disciplinary body for malicious prosecution? (yes)
** Does this case constitute an exception to the general rule that actions in malicious prosecution are only available in criminal cases (and cases of petition in bankruptcy and winding-up of a public company)?


An action in malicious prosecution may be brought against a self-regulating professional association by one of its members so long as that member has suffered damage.


The OVA is not immune from an action in malicious prosecution. This case should apply the test from Nelles v Ontario.

There are three sorts of damage, any of which would be sufficient to support an action for malicious prosecution:
** 1. Damage to reputation;
** 2. Danger of physical injury;
** 3. Damage to personal property.


Appeal allowed in favour of Stoffman.

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