Legal Battle Over Personalized License Plate Continues: Supreme Court Awards Damages
The ongoing legal dispute over Lorne Grabher’s personalized license plate bearing his family name took a new turn as the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia awarded him $750 in court costs. Grabher had been fighting to regain his license plate since it was revoked by The Registrar of Motor Vehicles in 2016. The decision was based on a report by McGill University professor Carrie Rentschler, suggesting that the license plate supported sexual violence against women. However, Grabher’s lawyer argued against the report’s connection to derogatory comments made by President Donald Trump.
Court Awards Damages
“The same-costs award will do justice between the parties.”
Justice Pierre Muise, in a recent decision statement, ruled that Grabher should be awarded $750 for the costs he had incurred during the legal battle. This amount equaled what Grabher had paid to the Crown in his previous affidavit. The court believed that this award would bring fairness to both parties involved.
The case will continue in early September, indicating that the resolution of the license plate dispute is still pending.
Contentious Connection to Trump’s Statements
Grabher’s lawyer, Jay Cameron, vehemently opposed the Crown report’s assertion that the license plate, which displayed the word “GRABHER,” was linked to President Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about women. Rentschler, an expert in communications and gender studies, referenced Trump’s statements during his 2005 presidential campaign, in which he boasted about being able to inappropriately touch women.
Cameron argued that the report failed to establish that “GRABHER” was meant as a reference to Trump’s statement, emphasizing that it was a name. He stated that, apart from the report, there was no evidence in the case that connected Grabher’s license plate to Trump.
Addressing the court in February, Cameron questioned the impact of comments made by a foreign dignitary on the freedom of expression of Canadians.
Defense of the Crown Report
Alison Campbell, the lawyer representing the Crown, defended Rentschler’s report as a review of academic literature on the representation and reinforcement of gender violence in society. She clarified that the report was not intended to be sensationalist but rather an examination of the ways in which gender violence is portrayed.
Grabher had initially stated that the license plate was a gift for his late father in 1990 and was meant to symbolize their Austrian-German heritage.
The case’s continuation in September suggests that the court has yet to reach a final decision on Grabher’s personalized license plate.