In a prior blog post, we reported about a condominium unit owner who was determined by a court to be a vexatious litigant. The court ordered that the owner was prohibited from initiating or continuing any action, application, motion or proceeding in any court against the corporation, its employees, board members, property manager and solicitors without obtaining leave from a judge.
Now that the Condominium Authority Tribunal (the new on-line dispute resolution service for disputes relating to condominium records) is up and operating, it is not surprising to see that the owner filed an application with the Tribunal. The owner sought an order from the Tribunal requiring the condominium corporation to pay the owner a penalty for failing to maintain a record over a 91-month period.
The corporation asserted that the previous court order prohibited the owner from filing an application to the Tribunal. But the Tribunal determined that the prohibition on starting any proceeding “in any court” did not include a tribunal.
However, the Tribunal dismissed the owner’s application on the basis that the application itself was vexatious. The Tribunal concluded that the records dispute was in effect a continuation of a previous records dispute that had been previously dealt with in Small Claims Court and for that reason, the application had been brought for an improper purpose. The Tribunal relied on section 1.41 of the Condominium Act, 1998, which provides that:
“the Tribunal may refuse to allow a person to make an application or may dismiss an application without holding a hearing if the Tribunal is of the opinion that the subject matter of the application is frivolous or vexatious or that the application has not been initiated in good faith or discloses no reasonable cause of action”.
The effect of this decision is that while the owner’s current application was dismissed, there is nothing preventing the owner from commencing other applications to the Tribunal. The corporation would have to obtain a further court order that clearly specifies that the vexatious litigant declaration and prohibition on commencing proceedings also applies to applications to the Tribunal.
To view a discussion of this topic on CTV Your Morning show, click here.