Another day, another LTB merits hearing. This is becoming a lifestyle.
John showed up alone, but was talking to various paralegals while waiting for our turn to have the application heard. This hearing was for John’s L2 application, based on the N5’s served on December 28, 2018 and January 24, 2019. This would be John Cerino’s third attempt to evict us.
Keeping in mind the vague nature of the N5s and the fact that the only specific allegation (that one of us had threatened John’s life) had been denied by Agostino in a recorded conversation, I wasn’t too worried.
John found a paralegal willing to represent him for the L2 application (it seems there’s always a hungry paralegal or two trolling for business around merit hearings; we’ve been approached a few times). Her name is Dale Skreveckas and she was unaware of the other ongoing applications between our landlord and ourselves.
When the hearing started we asked that this application be joined to the others. We were unaware of the Vice Chair’s directive that no other applications be joined to the four already joined. John’s representative opposed (what a shocker) but the member (Peter Guzina) pointed out that the first item in the N5s was a complaint of “videotaping” by the landlord and that the other applications covered the same events. She asked for a chance to speak to us. We agreed and my roomate stayed with our computers and files while I spoke with Ms Skreveckas. I’m a bit puzzled why Mr Guzina didn’t mention the Vice Chair’s directive at that time, but he didn’t.
It wasn’t a very productive conversation. Ms Skreveckas started by insisting the other applications were irrelevant to this one, which annoyed me for a moment until I understood that she had no idea of the contents of those other applications. She was talking through her ass, in other words.
When I told her she was mistaken on that point, she wanted to know which issues in the other applications were mutual to John’s L2 application. The short answer is “all of them”, which is what I told her. Then she wanted to go through them one by one, so I told her to have a look at the case files (which at this time was a stack of paper about 40 cm high for the combined files). I wasn’t even going to try to explain all of that in a few minutes in a hearing room hallway. So we went back into the hearing room. When our turn came again, Ms Skreveckas asked for a recess to look at the case files. Member Guzina gave it to her.
When Ms Skreveckas had entered the reception area of the LTB offices to get the case files for the other applications, my roomate tried to approach her to ask her how long she would need to examine the case files. John tried to prevent my roomate from going through the door, physically blocking her and holding the door shut to prevent her from entering the reception area. Ms Skreveckas saw what was going on she said “John, stop that!” in a loud voice. She then took JOhn to one side and spoke to him. I couldn’t hear any of this, but from his expression he did not like what she was saying. Standing five feet to John’s left was another tenant we’d seen before at the LTB. He later told us what she’d said. It must have infuriated John.
As John came out of the reception area, he approached me demanding “Where’s my rent?”. He repeated several times before I began chanting “Don’t speak to me” in a loud voice. When it began to attract the security guard’s attention, John backed off.
A bit more than an hour later we were back in the hearing room. Both sides agreed the application should be joined. That was when we found out about the Vice Chair’s directive. The application couldn’t be joined so it would have to be heard today. Memeber Guzina commented that it was a unique situation; both sides agreed the application should be joined, but he could not because of the Vice Chair’s direction in the matter. He suggested both sides give written submissions to the Vice Chair (she wasn’t there that day to hear them verbally, or we could proceed with the hearing. He seemed a bit at a loss for words.
But okay. It was a pack of provable lies and if the LTB wanted to waste time hearing the same evidence over and over, fine.
That was when Ms Skreveckas said she had discovered something she wasn’t comfortable with revealing, and could not proceed with the application. She requested consent to withdraw the application. Member Guzina asked for our consent, and we gave it (and next time, the answer will be hell no. John still has another L2 application on the go, and it’s as phony as this one. We won’t be giving our consent to withdraw the application next time. I want our day in court for a change.). So it’s possible that this one was ethical (I think she was). Just a bit hungry is all.
I’ll refer to Ms Skreveckas as Paralegal #3, without the honorific “sleazy”.
On the way out of the building, John started following us with his cell phone held up as though he were recording a video. It got a bit creepy.
The Order that resulted from the hearing is here:
Another wasted day, more waste of LTB hearing time and absolutely zero results. The marathon abuse of process marched onwards.
Hearing recordings will be posted when I get them and have had a chance to edit them for personal information.