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SELF-REPRESENTED plaintiff owner CRUSHED by Ottawa Small Claims award WEXLER v Carleton CC #98 2016/05/25 00:42  
SRL self-represented litigants ('pro se' litigants) should note an Ottawa area Small Claims cost award against a westend condo owner who faced off against professional counsel.

In an obscure decision from what some see as an obscure city, owner Norma Wexler has been hit with a whopping $ 20 K cost award far above the guidelined 15 % of claim in the less formal Small Claims judicial venue !

In December 2015 Ms Wexler had lost a $2,525.14 claim against her Lincoln Fields area condo corporation over charge-backs to enter & control wild pigeons on the exclusive use balcony appurtenant to her unit.

( Note : this ain't an Ontario condo corporation's subsection 134 plaintiff Application that - if successful - could find itself followed by a self-help 100 % costs recovery, subject to judicial challenge. )

Her Small Claim included $2 K for alleged harassment.

Legal articles are beginning to appear about the part time Deputy Judge's Feb 19/16 discretionary award of $20 K against her ( linked to prolonging the summary trial to 3 days).

Her condo corporation had sought a range of fuller costs up to $ 35,500.

From a city that has produced a range of bizarre condo outputs - many unfavourable to misbehavers & 'kvetchers' - a stark lesson why tribunal and/or online dispute resolution may be long overdue.

Or at least for pigeon clean up wars . . .
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Another condo corp seeks a 'WEXLER cost award in a nearby Ottawa Small Claims court . . . 2016/05/28 10:18  
Update : With ink barely dry above, in a different Ottawa Small Claims Court a condo corp SEEKS + $ 21K after successfully withholding e-mail addresses ( a $1K claim ).

But Dep Judge Ivan Whitehall withholds most of it in that other court. WU v Carleton CC #483 ( 'costs' decision May 24/16)

Are the gates open to other Small Claims part time judges allowing mammothly disproportionate cost recoveries after the Wexler pigeon war treatment ?

( Update Sep 9 2016 :

GTA Small Claims court ( Hadani v TSCC #2095 - after 3 days of Hearings & both sides with counsel ) rejects as wildly incommensurate, a winning defendant condo corporation’s $ 33 K total costs & disbursements claimed incurred. The unsuccessful plaintiff had challenged liens for $ 16.6 K involving water damage, denying his unit to be the source of presumably 'insurance-deductibled' unit damage below. Deputy Judge however rejects specifically grounds of Indemnity Clause in Declaration/Wexler scale disproportionate costs in Ottawa - now under appeal - and solicitor client full costs awarded in notorious Chris Kidney v Carleton C.C. #581 also Ottawa. SEE Hadani v T.S.C.C. # 2095 (2016) CanLII 58944 (ON SCSM) issued Aug 24/16 )
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Divisional Court to allow APPEAL of CRUSHING COSTS awarded against Small C.C. condo Claimant 2016/06/24 00:54  
June 22/16 Still SRL, Ms Wexler persuades appeal to Divisional Ct of the $20K grotesquely disproportionate award after she lost a $2500 claim against her Ottawa west condo corporation. She has pried open a right to be heard again.

( Defending their charge-back liens her condo corporation counter-claimed eligible part of $35 K legals. Is this what Small Claims is about ? Is this even a cost narrowly incurred in its Small Claims defence ? )

Some corporation-friendly condo litigators had eagerly embraced that outcome. Gotta also remember that even summary "peoples' courts" are jammed & suck up other owners' bucks too.

But here a different but fulltime judge opines the disproportionate costs award is “open to serious debate".

Cites Pearson v CCC 178 striking down a condo lien intended to recover defence costs.

Wexler v Carleton CC # 28 2016 ONSC 4162
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SELF-REPRESENTED owner pries open appeal of crushing Small Claims counteraward WEXLER v CCC #98 2016/07/08 23:14  
July 8 2016 : GUELPH lawyer Michelle Kelly's legal article reviews the door now pried open by SRL self-represented lien challenger WEXLER to be heard again.

( Update : at Sep 9/16 shows at least 2 Small Claims Court decisions where successful defendant Boards have tried to collect costs & disbursements ruled wildly incommensurate. there must be more. . . )

And speculates what Bill 106's eventual Regulations might eventually prescribe as to cost-crushing. ( 106 I also recall extends some 134 (5) reciprocally ).

American HOAs & condos frequently trounce both dissenters & troublemakers alike using sometimes valid weapons. But many derive only from voodoo CCRs (restrictive covenants), fines or other corporation-friendly condo weapons. A Twilight Zone.

July 8/16 Michelle Kelly LLB “Improper Use of the Indemnification Clause”
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Divisional Court turfs most of GROTESQUE punishment award WEXLER v Carleton CC #98 2018/01/26 10:46  
postscript :

Sep 25/17 Divisional Court reduces a shocking Small Claims award. ( $ 20 K for losing a challenged but possibly valid charge-back to control pigeon mess ? )

Now back to guidelined 15 % of Ms Wexler's $ 2,500 challenge

Sep 25 2017 Divisional Ct ( Madam Justice Michelle O’Bonsawin Wexler v Carleton CC # 28 2017 ONSC 5697

Footnote : Madam Justice O'Bonsawin applied the Honesty Duty to a snowplow contract termination. SEE ( Callow v CMG 2017 ) )
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