The CAT has been busy this month releasing three new decisions. Obviously, the issues relate to record requests. All three cases have some interesting commentary on the circumstances when the CAT will award legal costs and penalties.
The owner filed a claim with the CAT for records. Previously, the condominium obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice to declare the owner a vexatious litigant. The CAT member found the owner’s claim vexatious and dismissed it. That was not the end of it. The condominium sought over $12,000 for costs of its involvement in the CAT hearing and $22,000 after further submissions were made!
The CAT member reviewed its rules on costs:
The CAT member found that exceptional circumstances existed to award the condominium costs, but he had concerns with the amount sought so he ordered the owner to pay $2,500 to the condominium.
The owner made requests for two sets of records: 1) a number of core records (i.e. owners’ list, PICs, budgets, audited financial statements, reserve fund study, and minutes of meetings for the past year); and 2) non-core records (i.e. minutes from meetings for a six year period prior to November 1, 2017). The condominium did not reply to the owner’s claim or participate in any of the stages of the CAT proceeding.
The owner sought an expedited hearing as the AGM was to be held 7 days after the claim was made to the CAT. The owner also brought an application to the Superior Court of Justice, which ordered that the AGM had to be delayed for 90 days after the owners’ list was produced to the owner. The CAT member found that all records requested ought to have been provided to the owner and the condominium had no reasonable excuse for not providing them. As such, it ordered the condominium to produce the records within 30 days. The CAT also ordered the condominium to pay $2,000 to the owner within 30 days and give the owner a credit equal to its share of the $2,000.
The owner made requests for aged receivables and details of revenue received from Enercare. The owner sought costs of $150.00 and a penalty of $1,000. The condominium did not respond or participate in the hearing. The CAT member ordered the condominium to produce the records (redacted to remove the names and unit numbers). The owner was ordered to pay $0.20 per page and up to $60/hr for labour to obtain the records. With respect to the penalty sought, the CAT member found the circumstances did not warrant a penalty because the condominium had a reasonable excuse for not providing the records as requested since the Act exempts records related to specific units and/or owners from examination by an owner (except records related to their own unit).
More well-reasoned decisions from the CAT. I wonder what the next issue will be. Any guesses?