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McEwen v. Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 5 - 2022 ONCAT 125 - 2022-11-18

Corporation:

MCSCC 5

Date:

2022-11-18

Under:

CAT Decisions - Motion Order
Fees, Costs, Penalties
Parking and Storage
Procedural Issue with Governing Documents

Summary:

In the case of McEwen v. Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 5, the applicant initially filed a case seeking a parking space accommodation for a disability with the Condominium Authority Tribunal. During the mediation process, the applicant withdrew their case. Subsequently, the respondent sought the recovery of costs, alleging that the applicant's conduct warranted cost recovery. The respondent argued that the applicant had acted in bad faith by filing concurrent cases with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and the Condominium Authority Tribunal.

The tribunal ruled that the applicant's conduct did not meet the criteria for cost recovery, as it did not demonstrate bad faith, unreasonable behavior, an improper purpose, or causing direct expenses to the respondent. The motion for cost recovery was dismissed

Verdict:

Verdict: The motion for cost recovery brought by the Respondent was denied, as the Applicant's conduct was not found to be in bad faith, unreasonable, done for an improper purpose, or directly causing an expense for the Respondent.

Lesson: Cost recovery in condominium disputes is contingent on demonstrating that the opposing party's conduct meets specific criteria, such as bad faith or causing undue expenses.

Takeaways:

Takeaways:

Cost recovery in condominium disputes is contingent on demonstrating bad faith, unreasonable behavior, improper purpose, or causing direct expenses for the opposing party.
Participation in mediation does not guarantee cost recovery, even if legal representation is involved.
The tribunal considers the context and complexity of cases, especially when parties are self-represented.
Self-represented parties may not be penalized for navigating complex administrative tribunal processes.
The withdrawal of a case in the mediation stage may not necessarily lead to cost recovery for the opposing party.

Recommendations: 

Parties should be cautious about seeking cost recovery in condominium disputes, as such awards are relatively rare in the Condominium Authority Tribunal.

When participating in mediation, parties should be aware that the process is conducted on a without prejudice basis. Settlement offers made during mediation should be considered confidential and cannot be used in submissions to the tribunal.

Legal representation in mediation may be helpful but does not guarantee cost recovery. Parties with legal representation should understand the risks associated with legal costs, especially if mediation does not lead to a favorable outcome.

It is important for self-represented parties to navigate tribunal processes as effectively as possible. In complex cases involving overlapping jurisdictions, parties should carefully consider their approach to tribunal proceedings.

The tribunal may be more lenient in assessing the behavior of self-represented parties, taking into account their lack of training and experience in navigating administrative tribunals.

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