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Ronald Smith v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 773 - 2019 ONCAT 24 - 2019-08-01

Corporation:

RSMTCC 773

Date:

2019-08-01

Under:

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

Summary:

This case involves a dispute between the Applicant and Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 773 (the Respondent) regarding a request for records. The Applicant served on the Respondent's Board as Treasurer and made a request for various records under the Condominium Act, 1998. The Respondent provided some records but withheld others, citing confidentiality and privacy concerns. The Applicant brought the issue to the Condominium Authority Tribunal. The Tribunal found that the Applicant was not entitled to all of the requested records, except for certain approved financial statements. The Applicant's request for costs was denied, and no penalty was imposed on the Respondent. The Applicant's request to anonymize the decision and conduct oral cross-examination of witnesses was also denied.

Verdict:

Verdict: The Applicant was not entitled to all the requested records except for a copy of the February 2018 meeting notes approved by the Respondent's Board. The request for costs was denied, and no penalty was imposed on the Respondent, as there were no exceptional circumstances to warrant these actions.

Lesson: This case highlights the importance of understanding the limitations on accessing condominium records. Not all requested records may be granted, and exceptional circumstances must be demonstrated to support requests for costs or penalties. It also confirms that cross-examination can be conducted in writing rather than oral testimony, depending on the tribunal's discretion.

Takeaways:

Request for Records: The case involved a request for records made by the applicant, an owner and former Treasurer of Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 773 (MTCC 773). Smith requested various records, including financial statements and meeting minutes.

Entitlement to Records: The Condominium Authority Tribunal determined that the applicant was not entitled to all the records he requested, except for a copy of the February 2018 meeting notes approved by the MTCC 773 Board. The tribunal cited exceptional circumstances as the reason for restricting access to certain records.

Costs and Penalties: The tribunal denied the applicant's request for costs and decided not to impose any penalties on the Respondent, finding no exceptional circumstances to support these actions.

Procedural Rulings: The case involved preliminary matters and procedural determinations, such as the Applicant's request to anonymize the decision and conduct oral cross-examination. The tribunal denied the request for anonymization and determined that cross-examination would be conducted in writing.

Recommendations: 

Clarify Requested Records: When making a request for records, it is important to clearly specify the types of records needed and the time period for which they are requested. This will help avoid any confusion or misunderstandings between the applicant and the respondent.

Understanding Entitlement and Exceptional Circumstances: It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what records an applicant is entitled to under the Condominium Act. Additionally, it is necessary to demonstrate exceptional circumstances when requesting access to specific records that may not be readily accessible to all owners or warrant additional costs.

Consider Alternate Dispute Resolution Methods: In cases where live testimony or oral cross-examination is preferred by both parties, it is important to understand the jurisdiction and rules of the tribunal. In this case, the tribunal ruled that cross-examination would be conducted in writing, highlighting the importance of being aware of the available methods for dispute resolution.

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