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LIEN ABUSE gets oppression remedy : AMLANI v Y.C.C. # 473 2020/01/20 18:59  
Again not a legal opinion. This topic is under construction.

A Toronto judge has issued an OPPRESSION finding against a condo corporation for getting caught carrying out the sort of widespread abuse of the CONDO LIEN REMEDY substantially ignored or shockingly somewhat facilitated by the Act-reform outcomes.

Without a prior express legislative platform such as the Ontario Condominium Act 1998's sections 92, 98, 105 or 134, the abuse loaded more than $ 25 K in buckshee, unit-specific, merely Declaration created "chargebacks" or so-called "indemnifications" onto the title to the victim's unit. ( Some would argue they actually are fines. Or that they bizarrely even defy the hierarchy of jurisdiction topped by legislature & the courts ! Or that the practice is at best dubious hardball compliance somehow claimed legal for one private civil disputant to punish another ! )

Then the lieners moved to sell the unit out from under the victim.

The "chargebacks" were derived from civil demand letters from the corporation's lawyers - instead of self-help vigilante remedies like just shooting a Rule-defying dog.

Or instead of such as actually demolishing the home of an alleged property standards defier & billing the victim by $ 80 K unit-specific chargeback on the basis of a mere grass-cutting by-law ( as one owners association got caught doing in Texas ).

Its the familiar ole' scenario ( often from site-specific voodoo documents ) that induced some U.S. states to cap such chargebacks at $ 1 K , to require due process protocols instead of voodoo, and to illegalize mortgage-like remedies executed without lawful judicial oversight.

Some will also argue "Don't worry about it ! No big deal ! . . that these chargebacks WILL BE skated onside by still non-implemented Condo Act reforms that impose a VERY tight timeframe on victims to challenge arguable lien abuse. That arguably the CHANGES WILL SHELTER the chargebacks. )

During the former Provincial government's "consultation process" one wonders what some so-called consumer inputters understood or may have contributed to the Act changes still not implemented ( ? whether : "Don't worry about the law. Voodoo chargebacks are OK if only done against bad dudes & not very often . . . " )

Winning co-counsel ROD ESCAYOLA LLB ( partner Gowlings WLG Ottawa with associate David Plotkin ) has issued the first article about what could become a leading property & civil rights decision with application beyond mere condo disputes.

Mr Escayola's article links to a pdf of the Jan 13/20 Order not yet reported in the public domain at

Amlani v. Y.C.C. # 473, 2020 ONSC 194 issued Jan 13 2020

The article is :

Jan 14/20 “Condos Cannot Lien the Cost of Seeking Compliance” by Rod Escayola LLB partner Gowling WLG Ottawa Ontario
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LIEN ABUSE gets oppression remedy : AMLANI v Y.C.C. # 473 2020/01/23 09:57  
1 - Amidst attention a 3rd article has appeared about this potentially landmark victory for consumer & civil rights :

Jan 22 /12 “Condos Must Act Reasonably When Seeking Compliance “ by winning co-counsel David Plotkin ( Associate - Gowling WLG ) Ontario

2 - belatedly ( ? ) this important decision is now online in the public domain at :
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Is "carte blanche" smart for charge-backing by shared ownership groups ? ( AMLANI v Y.C.C. # 473 ) 2020/01/28 12:22  
and ultimately is it even sorta like share-cropping where a jurisdiction tolerates mere Declaration-platformed "indemnifications" / "chargebacks" ? ( low but steady flow of income to lawfirms or managers with minimal effort; most may capitulate but defiant scofflaws might even generate lots of litigation billings . . .)

And set in motion merely by $ 500 - $ 800 word-processed civil demand letter - possibly assembly-lined with minimal if any legal oversight . . . ?

A little too tempting ( ? ) to defray overhead & maybe even transition into profitable title slander warfare ?

Imagine done merrily by self-managed D.I.Y. condo or Building Scheme volunteers who decide what factuals merit some financial punishment & title-whacking . . . . You oughta hear some of what I hear from well-intentioned volunteers in the Building Scheme universe

Even the issues where done correctly by management companies ( commented May 11/17 "Lien registration is lawyers’ work” by C. Jaglowitz LLB )

Is this where Ontario should head ? :

Dec 7/19 KHOU- 11 "HOA sues retired Texas City couple for up to $100,000 for flower beds that don’t meet guidelines" ) not high enough to mask foundation lines flower-beds-that-dont-meet-guidelines/285-8552da47-1c4b-45b3-b719-58c36560ab2d

. . . cited with some others where it arguably got wildly out of control :

Dec 11/19 “Time to end predatory HOA lawsuits and foreclosures” by Debora Goonan “Independent American Communities” foreclosures/
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wagons circling : LIEN ABUSE got oppression remedy - AMLANI v Y.C.C. # 473 2020/05/10 17:47  
Some aftermaths continue :

lots of lawyers shrieking & attempt to quarantine or neuter the Amlani decision, which LawTimes article ( below ) quotes corporation’s counsel has been instructed to appeal.

Reactions look reminiscent of some of the U.S. aftermaths after U.S. abuses occasionally get overturned :

eg trying to totally avoid the BIGGER ISSUE whether chargebacks are lawful unless expressly platformed within the Condo Act & Regs. ( eg Should voodoo site-specific governance documents dare be allowed to trump the legislated limits on the powers of these sorts of organizations ? )

Or trying to lay it on wording of the specific governance document.

Or on balance of fairness between disputants’ behaviours.

Or “Don’t worry. Eventually it WILL BECOME legal !”

April 1 2020 LAW TIMES “Selling your condo — to pay neighbours’ legal fees ?” by Anita Balakrishnan fees/328202
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