CAT Declines to Dismiss Applications as Vexatious
In the recent case of Calderon v. YCC 274, the owner had brought eight CAT applications against the condominium corporation, dealing with records and respecting how pets and parking are regulated under the condominium corporation’s governing documents. Six of the applications were still open and ongoing.
The condominium corporation sought to have the applications dismissed as vexatious because the owner had filed so many cases and also because “the issues in dispute in the CAT Cases are all related to one another”. The condominium corporation also asserted that the owner had not followed the instructions of the CAT member.
CAT refused to find the applications to be vexatious and allowed them to continue. CAT said that dismissal of an application (as vexatious) is a very serious remedy that “should only be used in cases where a party’s behaviour is extreme or represents a consistent pattern of abusing the Tribunal’s processes with the intent to cause distress to the other party”.
CAT held that the condominium corporation had “failed to demonstrate that the Applicant (owner) has used the Tribunal processes for an improper purpose”.
CAT noted that most of the applications in question had not yet been decided, and also said: “(The) Grounds for (the) applications are not rolled forward into subsequent cases.” So in other words, these didn’t appear to be “repeating” claims.
In my view, the takeaways from this decision are as follows: In appropriate cases, CAT certainly has the authority to dismiss vexatious proceedings. However, this is an extreme remedy that will generally apply only in cases where the application is repetitive (in that it deals with matters that have previously been decided) or is in truth intended to bother the condominium corporation. As long as there is a fairly good argument that a given application relates to a new and genuine grievance, it won’t be treated as vexatious even if the applicant has many similar grievances.
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in CAT decisions!