Court Cases & Orders

Can You Sue Someone for Dumping You?

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Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

Can You Sue Someone for Dumping You?

If someone breaks up with you against your will, can you sue for monetary damages?  And does it matter if you just spent money on their birthday?

This was among the questions for the court in Bobel v. Humecka and Patten, where the man’s purported legal claims against his former girlfriend – with whom he lived for a time – were extensive.  Though notionally based in Family Law, the many allegations included claims as diverse as malicious prosecution, conspiracy, Charter violations, and libel.

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The woman brought a motion to the court, asking for all or part of the man’s lengthy Statement of Claim to be struck out in its entirety, on the basis it lacked any legal basis and was abusive of the court’s processes.

In this context, among the more unusual claims the man made against the woman was that she had committed the tort of “deceit”.   It seems that he and the woman had initially ended their relationship in May of 2015, and in August of 2015 they attempted to reconcile.  It only lasted a month.  The woman initiated the final break-up just after they celebrated her birthday together.

This prompted the man to allege in his Statement of Claim that the woman was liable for his damages arising from her deceit. The court evaluates the man’s claims this way:

In paragraph 44 of the Statement of Claim, [the man] claims [the woman] deceived him when she agreed to resume cohabitation before their final separation. He further claims this led to “damaging [the man’s] sense of reality and financial loss related to [the woman’s] 31st birthday. [The man] further states that [the woman] knew or ought to have known that her conduct would cause damage to [the man’s] psychological well-being and cause him financial strain.”

In essence, [the man] is suing [the woman] for ending their relationship. I am aware of no legal principle that requires a person to be truthful to their significant other or to not date more than one person at a time. There is no legal principle that prohibits a person from breaking up with their significant other if their significant other has recently spent money on their birthday or if their significant other would be upset by the breakup.

The court concludes that this particular claim was merely a “bare allegation” that was accordingly “scandalous”; it was also “vexatious” since it was alleged maliciously and without good cause.   The court struck out the relevant portion of the man’s Statement of Claim, and refused to give him permission to amend.

For the full text of the decision, see:

Bobel v. Humecka and Patten, 2019 ONSC 1876 

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.