Docstoc

HUMAN RIGHTS

Document Sample
HUMAN RIGHTS Powered By Docstoc
					          HUMAN RIGHTS LEGAL SUPPORT CENTRE

                             Information Sheet #3
                                 October 2009

      RESCHEDULING OR ADJOURNING YOUR
      MEDIATION OR HEARING AT THE HUMAN
         RIGHTS TRIBUNAL OF ONTARIO

This is general information only. It is not legal advice about your
situation. This publication is not a substitute for a lawyer’s research,
analysis and judgment.

Introduction
This Information Sheet deals with what can be done if you are unable to attend a
mediation or hearing on the date scheduled by the Human Rights Tribunal of
Ontario (the Tribunal).

If you know you are unavailable on the date that the Tribunal sets, you will need
to ask for your mediation or hearing to be rescheduled. This must be done
within five (5) days. If the date has already been set a long time ago but
something unexpected arises, you will need to ask for an adjournment.

Rescheduling and adjournments are not granted automatically. The Tribunal
regularly denies these requests unless there are special circumstances. The
Tribunal deals with requests on a case by case basis, and scheduled dates are
only changed if valid reasons are provided.

Note: The Tribunal has a practice direction called Information Bulletin:
Scheduling, Rescheduling and Adjournments (September 2008). It is available
on the Tribunal website at: Rescheduling and Adjournments. You should read it
carefully before requesting a rescheduling or an adjournment of a mediation or
hearing date.

Will the Tribunal contact me before setting a date for mediation
or hearing?

No. The Tribunal does not consult with you or the responding party before
setting initial dates. Consultation usually does occur if the initial date needs to be
changed.
What if the Tribunal chooses a mediation date when I am not
available?

You will find out the date for your mediation when the Tribunal sends you a
Notice of Mediation. If you are not available on that date you will need to ask for
the mediation to be rescheduled. To do so you must:

   1.      Contact the Tribunal Registrar by phone, fax or email, within five (5)
           days of receiving the Notice of Mediation;

   2.      Provide the Tribunal with five (5) alternative dates for the mediation –
           these dates must fall between eight (8) and twelve (12) weeks after
           the date of the Notice of Mediation.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, the hearing will be scheduled so that it is
completed within fourteen (14) weeks of the date of the Notice of Mediation.

The Tribunal will contact the other parties with the proposed alternative dates. If,
after a reasonable number of attempts, the parties are unable to agree on an
alternative date, the Tribunal may set the date for mediation without your
agreement or that of the other parties.

The Tribunal may reschedule the mediation to an earlier date if all parties agree
to that date, and it is available for the Tribunal. It is your responsibility to contact
the other parties to get their agreement.


When will the Tribunal agree to reschedule a mediation?

If you wait longer than five (5) days to request rescheduling, it is likely the
Tribunal will refuse your request.

The Tribunal will ask you to explain why you are unavailable. The Tribunal will
consider whether or not you are unavailable for a reason it considers to be valid.
Examples of valid reasons would include if you or your representative:

       has a previously scheduled trip out of the province or country,
       has a previously arranged appointment that cannot be changed; or
       has a previously scheduled court or tribunal appearance.

This means the Tribunal will not reschedule your mediation merely because the
scheduled date is inconvenient for you or your representative.




                                                                                      2
What if the Tribunal chooses a hearing date when I am not
available?

You will find out the date for your hearing when the Tribunal sends you a
Confirmation of Hearing. If you are not unavailable for some or all the hearing
dates scheduled, you need to ask for the dates to be rescheduled. To do so
you must:

    1. Contact the Tribunal Registrar within five (5) days of receiving the
       Confirmation of Hearing; and

    2.    Provide five (5) alternative dates on which you are available - within
         sixteen (16) to twenty-two (22) weeks from the date of the Confirmation
         of Hearing;

If the Tribunal has scheduled a number of consecutive hearing dates and you are
unavailable for some or all of those days, you must provide five (5) alternative
sets of consecutive hearing days that are within sixteen (16) to twenty-two (22)
weeks from the date of the Confirmation of Hearing. Except in extraordinary
circumstances, the hearing will be scheduled so that it is completed within
twenty-two (22) weeks of the date of the Confirmation of Hearing.

The Tribunal will contact the other parties and try to find a date that works for
everyone. If, after a reasonable number of attempts, the parties are unable to
agree on dates, the Tribunal may set the dates for the hearing without your
agreement or that of the other parties.


When will the Tribunal agree to reschedule a hearing?

Hearings will not be rescheduled merely because the date is inconvenient for you
of for another party or representative. As with mediations, you must have a valid
reason such as being out of the country, or having an important previous
appointment that cannot be changed.


What if something unexpected arises?

If you do not contact the Tribunal within five (5) days of receiving the Notice of
Mediation, or the Confirmation of a Hearing, and something arises later causing
you need to change the date, you will have to make a request for adjournment.

If you need to request an adjournment outside of the 5-day period you must:

   1. Advise the Tribunal Registrar about your need for an adjournment,
      including the reason it is needed;


                                                                                     3
   2. At the same time, contact the other parties to get their agreement to
      adjourn the hearing and to discuss alternate dates. You will likely have to
      explain the reason that you need the adjournment.

              Note: Alternate dates identified must fall within specific
              requirements:
                  for mediation, the proposed dates must fall within five (5)
                     months of the date of the Notice of Mediation.
                  for a hearing, the proposed dates must fall within five (5)
                     months of the date of the Confirmation of Hearing.

   3. Advise the Tribunal Registrar of the alternate agreed upon dates.

              Note: Where the request is on short notice, you must contact the
              Registrar by telephone or email.


What does the Tribunal consider when I request an
adjournment?

The Tribunal will consider the request in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.
Adjournment requests are not granted automatically and will only be allowed in
―extraordinary circumstances‖.

You should know that the Tribunal discourages adjournment requests, and will
only grant adjournments in extraordinary circumstances such as the illness of a
party, witness or representative. The consent of all parties will be taken into
account but will not automatically result in an adjournment being granted.

Your adjournment request will be decided by a Tribunal member, not the
Registrar. In deciding whether or not to give you an adjournment, the Tribunal
will look at a number of factors including:

      the reason(s) you need the adjournment;
      whether there is any hardship, or prejudice, to the other parties if the
       hearing is postponed; and
      whether there is the consent of all parties.

What if the adjournment is being requested because you are
working on reaching a settlement of your application?

The Tribunal discourages the cancellation or adjournment of hearing dates so
that the parties can explore settlement. Typically the Tribunal will not adjourn a
hearing date because the parties wish to ―engage in settlement discussions‖ or
are ―close to a deal.‖



                                                                                  4
If you and the Respondent believe you may be able to resolve a matter shortly
before the scheduled hearing, you should advise the Registrar and ask the
Tribunal to make a mediator and mediation room available on the hearing date.


If I get an adjournment, what happens next?

If the Tribunal gives you the requested adjournment, the order adjourning the
hearing may give the new date the hearing will begin, or it may simply postpone
the hearing with the new date to be set later. If the dates are not set in the
order, the Registrar will likely contact you and ask about your availability on the
proposed new dates.

Contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to get a copy of its Information
Bulletin: Scheduling, Rescheduling and Adjournments (September 2008). It is
available at: Scheduling and Adjournments.




                                                                                      5
Where can I get more information?

       HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL OF ONTARIO

Contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to get a copy of the Application
Form to make a discrimination claim. You can go to the Human Rights Tribunal
website to get the Applicant's Guide and other information about Tribunal
procedures, policies and practices. An easy-to-understand description of the
Tribunal’s process is also available on the website at: Plain Language Guide.

       Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
       655 Bay Street, 14th floor
       Toronto, ON M7A 2A3
       Local : (416) 326-1312
       Toll Free : 1-866-598-0322
       TTY (Local): (416) 326-2027
       TTY (Toll Free): 1-866-607-1240
       Fax: (416) 326-2199
       Fax (Toll Free): 1-866-355-6099
       Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario web site.


       HUMAN RIGHTS LEGAL SUPPORT CENTRE

Contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre if you have experienced
discrimination and you would like legal assistance in completing an application to
the Tribunal or legal advice about how to address the discrimination that you
experienced.

The first step is to telephone our information/advice lines:
       Human Rights Legal Support Centre
       Tel: (416) 314-6266
       Toll Free: 1-866—625-5179
       TTY: (416) 314-6651
       TTY Toll Free: 1-866 612-8627
       Human Rights Legal Support Centre web site.


       ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

You can also contact the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Their website
provides general information about the Human Rights Code.
Ontario Human Rights Commission web site.


You can see the Human Rights Code at the government’s e-Laws web site.


                                                                                 6