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#18756
VEXATIOUS LITIGANT RULING after dispute buries owners in AVALANCHE OF LEGAL COSTS- SENNEK v CCC 116 2017/08/29 00:16  
A $ 763 condo Lien challenge & veneer of ‘trivials’ in dispute, triggered an ongoing avalanche of litigation & institutional complaints even after being dismissed in March 2017.

( Had there been A.D.R. before police-supervised relocation of the Lien-challenger's eastend Ottawa FRONTYARD flower box ? Was the alleged mis-governance challenged electorally by condo owners ? Who knows ?

Subject to very tight upfront timeframes, Ontario's condo law amendments might have let this unfold cheaper. See also : "Will LIEN CHALLENGE CHANGES disadvantage owners targetted by condo liens ?"
http://ontario.cafcor.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=46&func=view&id=18693&catid=2 )

Carleton C.C..# 116 is a 213 unit townhouse community in east end Ottawa ( east of Blair Road ). Whatever's in the governance documents, its online owners manual forbids exterior changes without prior Board approval particularly as to the common element streetside.

1 - Without ultimate adjudication of her beefs' merits, the March 2017 decision strikes them for the lien challenger's defiance of an Interlocutory Order obtained by CCC #116 that she undergo a form of mental capacity examination !

Feb 21/17 ONCA had rejected her hopscotch appeal to strike down or amend that Interlocutory Order.

2 - Subsequently in Aug 2017 SRL self-represented litigant / trained lawyer / condo owner /Lien-challenger Ms Sennek has next found herself declared a VEXATIOUS LITIGANT & in breach of court order to undergo 'capacity to litigate' examination.

By now, just defending the $763 Lien has had to trigger a whopping $100,000 in SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS from the owners generally !

3 - A prior judgment purported to Order & also roll into a Condo Unit Lien the condominium corporation's costs of obtaining a capacity examination by a psychologist if refused by the then-Plaintiff Lien challenger Sennek. Add + $2,400

The August 2017 Endorsement has just further purported to order that as plaintiff C.C.C. #116 will be able to roll into the Condo Lien the further costs of having the Lien Challenger successfully declared a Vexatious Litigant.

Are both such unit-specific "additions' to unit debt - despite judicial blessing - “too remote” for subsection 134 (5) Adding Costs to obtain Compliance Order as legislated ?

4 - Will lawyer Sennek appeal the drastic nature of the remedy now imposed to squash whatever her specific beefs against C.C.C. #116, without apparent appellate consideration of the specifics ?

Just for starters to appeal some sort of 'inherent' or implied / discretionary judicial power that arguably misuses the validly legislated scope of Ontario CONDO LIENS ?

AND challenging the commensurate legality of quashing her attack on the Lien because she is held to have declined a form of mental exam in Canada in 2017

5 - No more filings nor appeals ?

Being now formally designated a Vexatious Litigant ( see Sec 140 of Courts of Justice Act, RSO 1990, c C.43 https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/stat/rso-1990-c-c43/latest/rso-1990-c-c43.html ) Ms Sennek may ( ? ) have been barred also from appealing her existing filings without judicial approval.

One can only speculate how this may impede her professionally in seeking LSUC membership and potentially working as a lawyer.

Will this particular lien-challenger / Womens Rights advocate & researcher / trained lawyer, now go quietly into the night ?

Or will she seek to continue appealing what she has already filed ?

Watch for possible civil liberties attentions . . . .

* * *

The ROAD TO VEXATIOUS LITIGANT DESIGNATION onto Ms Sennek :

Madam Justice Liza Sheard March 2017 Sennek v Carleton CC #116 9 ( dismissing Ms. Sennek's “Lien Application” & “Small Claims Action” on stated grounds of "has failed to comply with the interlocutory orders made against her in the Lien Application" ) :

" . . .. . . [14] numerous court appearances; the allegations made by Sennek against CCC 116, its directors, and its lawyers; the claim brought by Sennek against CCC 116’s lawyers ; numerous complaints to the LSUC; the complaint to the Privacy Commissioner, etc.

. . . at its core, this is a dispute over the pruning of a tree, the installation of a flowerbox and the width of a parking space . . "

. . . [19] Although she is not presently licenced in Ontario, with her legal background, it would be fair and reasonable to consider that Sennek is a lawyer, not a lay person.

[20] the endorsement of Justice Kershman chronicled the other actions taken by Sennek, all of which led him to make an order for her to be assessed for her ability to understand information relevant to making litigation decisions and to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of a decision in the Lien Application and Small Claims Action under section 105 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43 because of “grave concerns as to Ms. Sennek’s ability to conduct this matter and the Small Claims Court Action.”

[21] it is clear that she has consciously and deliberately refused to comply with the orders. . .

[22] I accept Sennek’s assertions that she is intelligent, educated, and trained in the law. . . .

Her behaviour in the Lien Application and Small Claims Action has led CCC 116 to incur enormous legal fees.

At the hearing of this motion, counsel for CCC 116 advised that the fees are approximately $96,000.00 and that the CCC 116 condominium owners have been subject to a special levy of $100,000.00 to cover those costs.

Should costs be awarded against Sennek and added to the lien claim registered against the Sennek Unit, there would be insufficient equity to cover the value of her mortgage.

For that reason, the mortgagee of the Sennek Unit, XXXXX XXXX of Canada, has sought intervener ( sic ) status to allow it to make costs submissions at the hearing set for August 18, 2017. . . ." unquote

* * *
Madam Justice Liza Sheard Aug 24/17 Carleton CC #116 v Sennek ( granting “Vexatious Litigant Application”) :

"1] On August 18, 2017 . . . . after hearing submissions from Sennek, I also granted the orders sought by CCC 116 to declare Sennek a vexatious litigant, with written reasons to follow. These are the reasons.

. . . Vexatious Litigant Application

Disposition: Sennek is a Vexatious Litigant

[31] For the above reasons, I conclude that CCC 116 had established that each of the other six characteristics of a vexatious litigant exist here and that Sennek, and all the various names she has used as referenced above, should be declared a vexatious litigant and that the Orders sought in paragraphs 1.(a) and (b) of CCC 116’s Notice of Application was granted on August 18, 2017.

Costs
[32] As the successful party, CCC 116 is entitled to its costs of the Motion and of the Application. The amount of those costs, any interest that might be payable, and CCC 116’s entitlement to have those costs added to Sennek’s common expenses and secured under the Condominium Lien, registered to the title of Sennek’s unit were addressed by the parties at the costs hearing before me on August 18, 2017.

My decision on costs for this and the related proceedings and will be dealt with by separate endorsement. " - unquote

The judgments/Orders/Endorsements include :

Sennek v Carleton CC # 116 2017 ONCA 154 issued Feb 21/17 http://canlii.ca/t/gxltr

Sennek v Carleton CC # 116 2017 ONSC 2036 issued March 31/17 http://canlii.ca/t/h35md

Carleton CC # 116 v Sennek 2017 ONSC 5016 issued Aug 24/17 http://canlii.ca/t/h5md1
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#18757
Will hardball defence boomerang ? : SENNEK v CCC 116 2017/08/30 16:43  
In March 2017 Ms Sennek's beefs about the Condo Lien & management etc were dismissed on grounds that she was being held to HAVE REFUSED TO UNDERGO A FORM OF COURT-ORDERED MENTAL CAPACITY EXAMINATION persuaded during her attempts to litigate.

In February Ontario's Court of Appeal had refused her hopscotch Motion to set aside that Order.

And so . .

Valid or not, her condo civil claims apparently WILL NOT GET ADJUDICATED on appeal, being now struck down for breach of this interlocutory condition that the defence was able to extract from the Ottawa judicial environment 'Continuance is predicted to "worsen" the scenario.'

March 31/17 : .... [27] Rule 60.12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, 1990, Reg. 194 provides that where a party fails to comply with an interlocutory order, in addition to any other sanction provided by the rules, the court may stay the proceeding; dismiss the party’s proceeding; or make such other order as is just. . .

[29] The facts in this case are similar to those before the court in Baradaran v. Tarion Corp., 2015 ONSC 7892 (CanLII). . . .

[30] Similar to this case, in Baradaran the plaintiff was an experienced user of the civil justice system. . . .

[33] Based on the materials before me, I am satisfied that, as in Baradaran, if the Lien Application and Small Claims Actions continue, the situation will worsen and that this case cries out for a dismissal under rule 60.12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

Accordingly, I grant the relief sought by CCC 116 and dismiss the within application as well as the Small Claims Action. "

- Madam Justice Sheard in Sennek v Carleton CC # 116 2017 ONSC 2036 issued March 31/17 http://canlii.ca/t/h35md
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#18831
ONCA rejects appeal of VEXATIOUS LITIGANT designation - SENNEK v CCC 116 2018/02/08 23:19  
12 months after a prior outing with SRL Ms Sennek, ONCA dismisses her self-represented appeal to ONCA ( no new filing being originated against decision already rendered in Aug 2017).

Will she try a longshot to Canada's supreme Court ?

With defence legal costs now cited above $100 K ( incurred by her condo corp. ), Ms Sennek’s appeal arrives with massive portfolio of grounds including wide range of judicial malfeasance.

ONCA mentions an initial Sennek beef had alleged parking spaces 22 inches too narrow. There was the front yard flower box too . . .

Carleton CC # 116 v Sennek 2018 ONCA 118 issued Feb 8 2018 http://canlii.ca/t/hq8fz

xcrpted quote "[1] Ms. Sennek raises over 20 grounds for appeal from the judgment declaring her to be a vexatious litigant.

She has also filed a 216 paragraph affidavit setting out her position and appeal books of 868 pages. . . "
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#18847
AVALANCHE OF LEGAL COSTS - SENNEK v CCC 116 2018/03/26 21:49  
the flower box war ?

And what is "doxing" ? ( Amongst the latest costs order is a footnoted reference to accusations by Ms Sennek : " DOXING" " . . [14] Defined by the Oxford Dictionary as to search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent " )

March 22 2018 : Still S.R.L. Ms Sennek is hit with costs exposure to the condo corporation - in a dispute triggered over a $ 763 Lien for non-complying flowerbox - here reduced to $ 110 K of which $85K is adjudicated a common expense lienable as a condo Lien[/b].

[b]Late from the sidelines & now as Non-party INTERVENOR to try to salvage its security, Ms Sennek's mortgage lender Laurentian Bank gets a rough going over for having declined to pre-empt earlier Lien notices.

How much of Laurentian's loan security will be left before all this is over ? And when will it be over ?

And - as against her condo corporation - Ms Sennek is still left wearing a vexatious litigant designation if she doesn't keep the fun going
. . .

Is one takeaway this one ? : One may be highly trained . . . a law degree & more . . . But running afoul of one's condo / Building Scheme / HOA governancers can be world of EXTREME PAIN. Is it worth picking this particular battle forum ? Look where this defiant lawyer/condo owner & her professional reputation have been dragged in a town the size of Ottawa . . .

More xcrpts :

“ [12] The Litigation spun wildly out of control almost from the outset. A battle ensued over Sennek’s legal name . . . Sennek then took the offensive - bringing the Lien Application, and commencing separate actions and claims against CCC 116’s lawyers. She also complained to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

[13] Sennek failed to comply with orders made against her. She appealed, or sought leave to appeal, to the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions, without success. . . .Sennek has law degrees from two other provinces and practised law in British Columbia. . . . Justices Kershman and Roger agreed and ordered Sennek to undergo a capacity assessment. She failed to abide by those Orders, from which she sought to appeal.

[14] CCC 116 was put to great expense to respond to Sennek’s voluminous materials. For example, Sennek filed a three-volume 450 page responding record, including her 74-page affidavit . . . “

Carleton C.C. # 116 v Sennek 2018 ONSC 1921 issued March 22/18 http://canlii.ca/t/hr686
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#18879
starting to get attention : SENNEK v Carleton C.C. # 116 2018/06/24 09:50  
This ( ? disproportionate ? ) crushing ( with 'vexatious litigant' designation for litigating relentlessly with a fervour not unlike many powerful corporate litigants ), is now at least getting some attention from outside the narrow condo law community.

- Addendum CTV finally notices July 5/18 "How to deal with your condo board during a dispute"
https://www.ctv.ca/YourMorning/Video/How-to-deal-with-your-condo-board-during-a-dispute-vid1432456

- June 23/18 The Toronto Star's Bob Aaron has just articled & drawn some conclusions about this long struggle.

1 - Mr Aaron notes the condo corporation's successful transformation of $ 85 K of the costs award, into a LOAN-PRIORITIZING condo lien on Ms Sennek's unit title.
( ? Remember that the disputant owner's bank did not intervene several years ago to pre-empt the $ 763 flower box lien, of which the legislation requires they be served with prior notice ? )

2 - Mr. Aaron cites THREE ( 3 ) lessons. Might I add respectfully the following :

Any self represented litigant - no matter how well educated including with law & other degrees - may be facing a world of pain in taking on one's own condo, strata or Building Scheme. One can win battles but lose the war. "Wagons are readily circled" ( for example see Ms Sennek's complaint of "doxing" above ). Condo liens readily download some or all of the governancers' costs, whether or not legally.

Certain areas of the province may historically have been judicially harsh on condo boat-rockers. ( Theory : that's what appeal courts are for ! Reality : it may take very deep pockets to overturn adjudicative errors or wild trips into the Twilight Zone albeit not necessarily in Ms Sennek's case ! )

Even in Toronto, struggles like the notorious Wychwood Park persecution of offsite neighbours - for example - show that judicial skillsets & concerns may at best be VERY uneven.

Courts gob-smackingly there ruled for the owners association ( Trust ) AGAINST the Wychwood Trust's targets in THREE out of FIVE judicial outcomes ! BUT fortunately NOT in the final & 5th round at Ontario's Court of Appeal. In the most notorious ruling for the Wychwood governancers on the long way to eventual justice, a Divisional Court judge earning at least a third of a million dollars annually, even brought forth a disturbing outcome. That outcome ( # 4 in the series ) smeared a correct Small Claims decision on grounds which ONCA absolutely ripped apart later ! ONCA confirmed such total correctness of the Small Claims decision written in total conformity with Building Scheme jurisprudence of more than 130 years ! Thank God for property & civil rights ! https://ontario.cafcor.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=46&func=view&id=18737&catid=2#18737

Respectfully, boat-rockers need to look realistically at the downsides. There's usually a huge imbalance of power upfront in condo & Building scheme disputes. Are the risks commensurate ? Especially risks to individuals building professional standing ? ( Yes , there are rare exceptions : two American lawyer-owners wiped the floor with a lawless Virginia HOA, driving it bankrupt Feb 11/13 Consumerist “How A Homeowners Association Went Bankrupt Because Of One Obama Yard Sign”
http://consumerist.com/2013/02/11/how-a-homeowners-association-went-bankrupt-because-of-one-obama- yard-sign/ )

Lawyer Bob Aaron's artiole

June 23/18 ToStar Bob Aaron LLB “ Courtroom lessons from a $109,000 flower box” https://www.thestar.com/life/homes/advice/2018/06/23/fight-between-condo-board-and-homeowner-over-a- flower-box-ballooned-to-a-109000-court-bill.html
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#18881
TRIBUNAL pre-emptively quashes "Records" malfeasance complaint - SENNEK v C.C.C. 116 2018/07/13 15:23  
Amongst the initial five adjudications issued by Ontario's new condo dispute tribunal, ONCAT has rejected a condo records complaint by this same dissenting owner. She is a self-represented lawyer. The way she has chosen to rock the boat, apparently has made her plenty of enemies . . .

1 - VEXATION

The Chair rules that although such new tribunal ONCAT is NOT bound by prior conventional designations of "vexatious litigant" status, here the magic wand can be waved "free-standing". On those grounds, Ms Sennek's record beefs can thus get themselves pre-empted from any consideration.

The Chair lists those grounds in spite of the condo corporation's outright admission of relevant Act violation ( para 17 here and wider 14-17 ) in a Small Claims Court on Feb 19 2016.

The corporation confessed that it had outright failed to comply with the then-applicable condo Act's list of compulsory record keeping, so couldn't be held "refusing" access ! !

( With Ms Sennek's application here discretionarly quashed, no other details of any triggering written request nor failure are provided. With statutory revisions splitting remedies into ONCAT or Small Claims, some may have become moot anyway. )

Ms. Sennek's records beefs is thus quashed arguably without free-standing consideration of its specific merits. Didn't like her mental process ? What about the beef itself ?

2 - This is an interesting look into the tribunal itself.

But it's also an unsettling repetition of what arguably is the apparent ongoing suppression of her other beefs. As noted initially above , there appears again to be no demonstrated dealing with her condo-specific beefs. And even her with a mid-litigation corporation admission of some want of records performance, there's no remedy for her.

3 - The still unanswered beefs

AND ALSO STILL UNRESOLVED from overall struggle, albeit merely an historical curiosity now :

Were the original liens grounded in an express authority granted under the Condominium Act 1998 ? eg unit deficiency ? section 98 agreement enforcement ? corporation insurance deductible ? unpaid common expenses as scheduled ?

Or was it some sort of voodoo derived only from site-specific documents ?


Eg Was the flower box relocation "charge back" no more than one adversary's claim to have judicial powers ? Sort of like the notorious alleged hallway carpet stain and subsequent + $ 500 warning letter fine imposed by voodoo lien without statutory authority onto one of lawyer Gerry Hyman's questioners . . . ?

Sort of like a Florida or Texas voodoo ?


4 - Is it a good idea to "rock the condo boat" especially in Ottawa ?

Reminiscent disturbingly of a real property litigation outcome at lower levels in the same Ottawa area 13 years ago where a senior civil judge showed a disturbing ignorance of property covenants ! [/b] But there, at least the court of appeal subsequently corrected the bizarre outcome without such other ( Building Scheme ) complainant's sanity being questioned in 2005-6

But condo dissenter Ms Sennek has been taken into a Twilight Zone, howsoever well deserved or not . . .
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#18922
Sennek Tribunal rejection applied to another critic 2018/12/28 17:29  
On Nov 13/18 ONCAT Ontario's condo Tribunal rejected Toronto condo owner Michael Lahrkamp’s records access Tribunal complaint ( about a more recent project ) as a vexatious filing, thus snuffing whatever the merits of his current complaints.

In Jan 2018 a civil judge had ruled him - pre-empting his Oppression filings - personally a vexatious litigant despite some successes over a decade of litigations starting with lobby reno beefs .

BUT in property & civil rights aspects, Mr. Lahrkamp’s + decade long Toronto area filings & the shenanigans of B.C. by-law opponent Mr Bea's ( 50 filings duplicatively ) look arguably in sharp contrast to Ms Sennek's single but protracted dispute in Ottawa.

What's the takeaway from ONCAT Tribunal rejections not on basis of “personal vexatious litigant status” but complaint-specific as “vexatious filing” ?

Why waste pricey SLAPP to silence critics if such can get the serious ones gagged as vexatious litigants whose beefs are also gagged including in records denial ONCAT Condo Tribunal venue ?

Of course won't be cheap but apparently curtails another recourse albeit non-violent . . .

1- Manorama Sennek v. C.C.C.# 116 (2018) ONCAT 4 issued June 19/18 http://canlii.ca/t/hst0m

2 – Lahrkamp v M.T.C.C. # 932 ( 2018) ONCAT 12 issued Nov 13/18 http://canlii.ca/t/hwnvg
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