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Robert Remillard v. Frontenac Condominium Corporation No. 18 - 2018 ONCAT 1 - 2018-05-04

Corporation:

RRFCC 18

Date:

2018-05-04

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Access to Records
Entitlement to Records
Fees, Costs, Penalties

Summary:

The case of Robert Remillard v Frontenac Condominium Corporation No 18 involved a dispute regarding access to records and the associated fees under the Condominium Act 1998. The applicant requested un-redacted copies of legal invoices related to a Small Claims court action and argued that the exemptions for redactions should not apply. The respondent, Frontenac Condominium Corporation No 18, claimed solicitor-client privilege and argued that the estimated fee for removing redactions in other invoices was reasonable. The tribunal determined that the exemption under section 554b of the Act did apply to the Small Claims invoices, denying the applicant's request for un-redacted copies. However, the tribunal found that the estimated fee for removing redactions in other invoices was unreasonable and ordered the respondent to revise the redactions for a fee not to exceed $8,450.

Verdict:

In the case of Robert Remillard v Frontenac Condominium Corporation No 18, the tribunal ruled that the exemption under section 554b of the Condominium Act 1998 applied, denying the applicant's request for un-redacted copies of Small Claims court invoices. Additionally, the tribunal found the estimated fee for removing redactions in other invoices to be unreasonable. This case highlights the importance of balancing transparency with the reasonableness of associated costs when it comes to access to records in condominium disputes.

Takeaways:

Access to Records: The applicant requested un-redacted copies of legal invoices under the Condominium Act 1998. However, the tribunal determined that the exemption under section 554b of the Act applied, denying the request for un-redacted copies of Small Claims court invoices.

Redactions and Fees: The respondent, Frontenac Condominium Corporation No 18, provided redacted copies of legal invoices to the applicant. While the tribunal found that solicitor-client privilege protected the redactions in the Small Claims invoices, it determined that the estimated fee for removing redactions in other invoices was unreasonable.

Revision of Redactions: The tribunal ordered the respondent to revise the redactions in the General Matters invoices for a fee not to exceed $8,450. This decision highlights the importance of balancing the need for transparency with the reasonableness of the associated costs.

Dispute Resolution: The case was brought before the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), a governing body that handles issues and disputes related to condominiums in Ontario, Canada.

Importance of the Condominium Act: The ruling in this case demonstrates the application and interpretation of the Condominium Act 1998 in resolving disputes regarding access to records and associated fees.

Recommendations: 

Ensure compliance with the Condominium Act of 1998: Both condominium corporations and unit owners should ensure they are familiar with the rules and regulations regarding access to records as outlined in the Condominium Act of 1998. This will help prevent disputes and ensure that all legal requests for records are handled in a timely and appropriate manner.

Find a reasonable balance between transparency and cost: Transparency is essential, but there should be a reasonable balance between transparency and the cost of accessing records. When faced with requests for records, condominium corporations should consider the estimated cost of record production and removal of redactions against the requester's need and right to access the records.

Consider alternatives to litigation: While litigation can help resolve disputes, it can be costly and time-consuming. Condominium corporations and unit owners should consider alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, settlement conferences, and arbitration. These methods may have lower costs and faster turnaround times compared to going to full trial, ultimately resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective resolution.

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