Disability lawsuit dismissed after no disability cited, Human Rights Tribunal

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KPA Lawyers - April 17, 2019

It seems like the kind of thing you’d read about in The Onion or The Beaverton, but this story is unfortunately quite true.

It should probably be noted that neither KPA Lawyers nor any of our employees had anything to do with this case.

It should also come as no surprise that since Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal lacks the authority to financially penalize frivolous lawsuits, it will, at some point, experience frivolous lawsuits (perhaps more frequently than many people would like to admit).

When Osgoode Properties was considering renting to Lamont Hunter, Mr. Hunter claimed that he was asked for a criminal reference check as part of the application for the apartment, a common request for anyone who has rented property in Ontario. The Applicant (Mr. Hunter) refused and – according to him – the landlord’s representative said she would not rent to him when he said that she could not ask for that information.

He then under section 34 of the Human Rights Code, alleging discrimination with respect to housing because of disability, and reprisal contrary to the Code.

The Tribunal stated, “it was not clear from the Application how any of what was alleged was connected to the Code grounds of disability and reprisal.”

An Application will only be dismissed at a preliminary stage if it is “plain and obvious” on the face of the Application that it does not fall within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. The Tribunal concluded, “…it is plain and obvious that the Application is outside the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.”

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