Chapter 41 – Friday March 1, 2019 to Sunday March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 3, 2019 – Jeremy’s crew were working on their car in the driveway. complete with loud music and loud arguments over the work being done on the car. The only difference from usual was that all but one of them was wearing a yellow reflective vest. I didn’t recognize it at the time, but I believe those vests were worn to show support for the “yellow vest” protesters that infested City Hall later that summer (and tried to disrupt Pride celebrations in Gage Park). That would be consistent with the political views which were usually loudly discussed (but not this time, or at least I didn’t hear it). There was discussion of the “rat problem” in the building, and some discussion of possible solutions that left little doubt they were discussing two legged rats.

Wednesday March 6, 2019 – A package containing approximately 40 sheets of paper was slid under our front door. I looked out my bedroom window immediately after, and a minute later observed Jennifer Greenway exit the building and speak to Christina Stamper briefly on the front deck.

There was no indication of the purpose of the documents, but some were related to the last T2 application (SOT-99829-18, or so it appeared) I wasn’t certain if this was intended as disclosure for the LTB merits hearing the next day. If it was, the timing of the disclosure ignored the disclosure regimen imposed by Member Henry.

One was a letter from Jeremy Stamper saying he could not attend the hearing due to criminal charges pending against him (as a result of his assault on me on November 23, 2019) (Doc 273).

Another was a letter from Christina Stamper saying she could not be at the hearing for the next day because she was being admitted to the hospital and authorizing Richard Pollington to act in her and her son’s interests at the LTB merits hearing the next day (Doc 274).

The third document was a copy of a private information, prepared by Greenway, in Richard Pollington’s name (Doc 275). That was interesting. It seemed to me that John Cerino was stooping to new depths of abuse of process. After numerous attempts to frame us for offenses under the RTA, and then numerous attempts to have us charged with criminal offenses based on false complaints, it looked like John Cerino was expanding his abuse of process to include a criminal court.

The private complaint recycled some old allegations and added a few new ones.

The last document was a copy of the T2 Application for Tenant Rights that I’d filed with the LTB on December 10, 2018.

I left a message on Greenway’s voicemail asking if this was disclosure for the March 7 hearing at the LTB. There was no response before the hearing.

There were the usual loud banging and random tests of the car horn until late in the evening.

Thursday March 7, 2019 – We were prepared to present our evidence to the panel of two members. When the hearing started, there was only one, Sean Henry. Member Henry explained that the panel had been dissolved, that he would be hearing the applications alone, and by the way, we’d be starting over from scratch. Nothing of what happened before in hearings counted.

What the f&*k?

Not much got accomplished in that hearing, although we did get a ruling (mistaken in fact, I believe) that Agostino was not a co-landlord. The hearing recording is here:

Vid 98 – 2019-03-07 – LTB Hearing SOL-84218-17 SOT-77620-16 SOT-80393-17

Christina Stamper did attend the hearing (despite her letter) Jeremy didn’t. Greenway did try to use two of the documents she’d disclosed the night before, but it the member had already ruled against her on the point she was trying to make and there was no chance to object to her disregard of the disclosure regimen.

Our applications (SOT-77620-16, SOT-80393-17, SOT-91682-18, and SOT-99829-18) and John’s related L2 application (SOL-84218-17) were adjourned until the next available date. We were not aware of it, but at this point the Vice Chair of the LTB had directed that any new applications NOT be joined to the four applications already joined.

As we were leaving the hearing, John, Agostino and Greenway came onto the same elevator as my roomate and I. As we went to the ground floor of the building, John took out his cellphone and began taking photos of me. I asked him in a loud voice “Please stop photographing me”, and he did, Greenway was standing beside him in the elevator. John had always acted in an antagonistic and menacing manner before and after hearings (and twice during), but not in front of his representative until now.

Once outside, John began following us around with his cell phone held up as though filming us (I don’t know if he actually was or not). I had the Tac cam (a small, one-inch cube) with me, so I used it to record John’s behavior (Vid 70). At the time I began recording, we’d already moved twice to get away from John. He’d followed right along.

Vid 70 – 2019-03-07 – John follows us with a camera at LTB

This hearing used up 2 hours 45 minutes of a members time, bringing the tally to 17 hours 25 minutes of hearing time at the LTB, in 11 hearings, two by telephone, nine in person (counting the Case Management Hearing and mediation session of May 19, 2017 as hearings). It has also used up 9 hours and 50 minutes of a mediator’s time.

Tuesday March 19, 2019 – This was the hearing date for John Cerino’s L1 application. John didn’t come to the hearing, neither did any of his crew. This would be the first hearing where we didn’t have to deal with John and his crew in the LTB offices. Greenway had the L1 update filled in properly and was ready to go. One of the more useful aspects of an L1 application to a tenant is that the tenant can raise any issue that might otherwise be the subject of an application before the board. In other words, if you stop paying your rent and your landlord files an application for eviction, you can simply pay the rent owed and raise the issues you might otherwise have waited years to have heard (as in our case). Rather than complicate this mess any more than it was, we’d decided to ask only for a method of paying rent that would avoid the hazard of dealing with John Cerino or his agents. After hearing a summary of some of the more outrageous behaviour by Pollington and the Stampers (and John) Greenway volunteered to accept an undertaking to act as an agent to collect rent. All we had to do was e-transfer the rent every month. John Cerino did not attend the hearing. We also told the member that we would proceed with the contents of all the applications that day if John were given costs. Greenway reluctantly agreed to absorb the $190 filing fee for the L1 application.

The final order for the hearing is (Doc 276). The hearing recording is (AR 153) and the video version with timer is Vid 96.

Vid 96 – SOL-01207-19 LTB Hearing Recording with timer

This hearing used up 20 minutes of a members time, bringing the tally to 17 hours 45 minutes of hearing time at the LTB, in 12 hearings, two by telephone, ten in person (counting the Case Management Hearing and mediation session of May 19, 2017 as hearings). It has also used up 9 hours and 50 minutes of a mediator’s time.

And we still hadn’t managed to get the carpets replaced.

Tuesday March 26, 2019 – I called Agostino with a repair request (AR 151).

He told me to give it to his representative, so I emailed Greenway (Doc 277).

Greenway never did acknowledge this email, but the next day I sent her copies of our receipts for last month’s rent deposit. In the L1 hearing two days before, Greenway had said there was no last month’s rent on deposit. John had lied to her about that point, and I expected that we’d be back for another L1 hearing in the future, so I set her straight on a few points. She acknowledged the email from the previous day in that thread. Please note the dates and times on the emails. They show Greenway was acting as John Cerino’s agent as late as March 27, 2019 (Doc 278).

Thursday March 28, 2019 – We received a Notice of Entry for the next day, March 29, 2019 (Doc 279). The Notice does not comply with the Interim Order.

Not only was there a hearing on March 29, 2019, but Agostino was supposed to be the star witness. Not to mention that we’d objected to Agostino entering the unit. We had a ruling that Agostino was not a landlord (according to the ruling by LTB member Sean Henry on March 7, 2019), and it seemed reasonable to object to the entry of an agent who had made false accusations of criminal behaviour (in Agostino’s case, the allegation that I had made threats to him to kill John from the N5 served on January 24, 2019). I called Agostino to try and make sense of all this (AR 152). In this conversation, Agostino states that the alleged death threats (Doc 263) “never happened”. He does make new allegations of threatening, but says the threats were made to Pollington.

 So, I emailed Greenway again. Note the Date/time stamp of the email (Doc 280).

Greenway never answered this email. However, she did fax her resignation to the LTB, one hour and fifty eight minutes later and fourteen hours and 21 minutes before the scheduled merits hearing (Note the date/time received in the lower left corner). She did not notify us, as required under the LTB rules of procedure, and she back dated her resignation (Doc 281).

Friday March 29, 2019 – Before the hearing, as I was using one of the stalls in the washroom (for its intended purpose, if you were wondering), I heard John and Agostino discussing repairs to the building at 99 East Ave. Agostino left, then John continued to speak to a third person about the LTB process. That person spoke with John in short monosyllables or grunts except for asking John who he meant by ‘the chairmans’. John spoke for about a minute, referring to Member Henry as “that bald nigger”, referring the Member Culp as “the little chink” (at least I think that’s what he said), referring to me as a “welfare fag” and referring to Richard as a “dumb retard” (at least I think he was referring to Richard). I believe John was aware of my presence, and was baiting me. Or, he may have been speaking to his audience in a way his audience understood. I don’t know. John hadn’t been openly racist to this point (all three of the Stampers had), and I sever saw the person to whom John was speaking.

 At the hearing, John claimed he had just got back to town to find he had no representation (Doc 282). 

He asked for an adjournment to find another representative, and offered this as proof that he was no longer represented by Jennifer Greenway (Doc 283).

That doesn’t quite fit with the date/time stamps of the emails I’d exchanged with Greenway. Something else that’s a little shady; Greenway knew that we’d be paying rent, approximately $5400. That should have covered John’s bill at this point. Instead she bailed. It’s quite clear to me that Ms Greenway quit because she realized she had been manipulated and lied to by John Cerino.

In the hallway after the hearing, John spit on my shoulder, then tried to grab some papers I was holding. A man I don’t know grabbed John by the arm and pulled him away.

The hearing recording I received from the LTB has John’s voice asking for an adjournment and Marie’s voice telling member Guzina that I am “seeing duty counsel” (around 10:37 in the recording) but does not have John’s statements or the adjournment himself so I didn’t post it.

One of the paralegals, Joseph Kazubek, approached us and stated that John had asked him to represent John at the hearing. Joe also stated that he would not represent John under any circumstances, and asked us about our case. My roomate and I had a fifteen minute discussion about the case with him and he expressed an interest in representing us, stating that he only charged tenants $350 per application, regardless of number of appearances. We discussed the case for another ten minutes after that, including our strategy for having the matters heard together. Joe would later represent John, and in a discussion about this he stated there was no ethical conflict since he hadn’t actually represented us. I do not believe that to be the case. At best, it was slimy.

This hearing used up 20 minutes of a members time, bringing the tally to 18 hours 5 minutes of hearing time at the LTB, in 13 hearings, two by telephone, eleven in person (counting the Case Management Hearing and mediation session of May 19, 2017 as hearings). It has also used up 9 hours and 50 minutes of a mediator’s time.

Saturday March 31, 2019 – Water began leaking through the ceilings of both mine and my roomate’s bedroom. We’d complained about the water leaking in October 2018 and in November 2018 and Agostino had been shown the damage, but to our knowledge, nothing had been done to repair the problem. (Fig 80 and Fig 81).

By the morning of April 1, 2019, the ceiling in my bedroom had collapsed.

After five days of entry and five days of missed work, the ceiling was repaired to the point where all that was needed was a coat or two of paint. Richard Pollington had no part in the repairs, to the best of my knowledge. The carpet was further damaged by plaster and water soaking in.

We paid the rent to Jennifer Greenway by e-transfer (including arrears) and there were no problems. It was refreshing to be able to pay rent without a circus on my doorstep, or having to deal with another complaint to police by our landlord and/or his agents. (Instead, we had to deal with the damaged ceiling and the mess it created. Much easier on the nerves…) She issued separate receipts (Doc 280.1).

By April 1, 2019 we were paid up.

Throughout March, there were more instances of the Stampers shouting obscenities or insults at me (mostly “fucking fag”) (Christina was fond of the phrase, but I heard it from Ron a few times), and loud discussions of the “rat problem” in the building. I ignored it. Taking my cell phone out of my pocket always ended the harassment. There were other provocations (such as Ron Stamper loudly describing the beating he would inflict on “any rats I can find in the building”). Most of the provocations were directed at me. My roomate also recorded herself coming and going from the building, but for the most part they left her alone. Around this time, we began looking for another place to live, since it had become obvious that enforcing a tenant’s rights was practically impossible. Marie contacted the Housing Help Centre, who porvided a printout of rental ads from Kijjiji. Not very helpful. None of them were affordable either. Or available. Finding housing in Hamilton is challenging, especially when you can’t get a reference from your current landlord and don’t make a six figure income.

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