Court dismisses Fredericton psychologist's request for an injunction on suspension

·2 min read
Joan Wright had her licence suspended by the College Of Psychologists of New Brunswick. She was seeking an injunction on the suspension while awaiting a judicial review. (Photo: Jeff Crawford - image credit)
Joan Wright had her licence suspended by the College Of Psychologists of New Brunswick. She was seeking an injunction on the suspension while awaiting a judicial review. (Photo: Jeff Crawford - image credit)

A Fredericton psychologist's request for an injunction that would allow her to continue to practise while awaiting a judicial review on a suspension has been dismissed by the court.

Joan Wright was suspended by the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick in April following a complaint by a former client, which was filed in 2018.

A judicial review of the college's decision is scheduled for June 18.

Wright's lawyer, Kelly Lamrock had previously argued that section 51 of the Psychologist's Act, which does not allow a stay or injunctive relief, is unconstitutional, and that both Wright's reputation and her clients would suffer irreparable harm if she was not allowed to continue to practise.

"Dr. Wright maintains that the sanction decision is inappropriately onerous and has resulted in the requirement to shut down her practice without any prior notice, resulting in significant disruption and stress to her patients as well as injury to her own reputation," said Chief Justice Tracey DeWare in her oral decision, which was given over conference call.

But Justice DeWare said it was not the court's place to intervene.

"I am of the view that Section 51 of the Psychologists Act precludes the court's intervention in this matter," DeWare said.

She also said that Wright's case did not meet the conditions for granting a stay.

In a published decision last month the College of Psychologists suspended Wright for professional misconduct and violating the boundaries of the psychologist-client relationship.

To get her licence reinstated on a conditional basis, Wright has to complete three university level courses and pass an examination for the professional practice of psychology.

She will also be required to pay a $2,000 fine and $134,510.63 to the college for costs related to the complaint within a year.