Friday June 1, 2019 – Wednesday June 5, 2019 – There were numerous incidents during these five days of Richard Pollington, Jeremy Stamper and (once) Richard Pollington Jr calling me a “fag”, “fag pussy”, “rat” and “asshole”. The aggression would stop as soon as I took my cell phone out of my pocket. Most incidents consisted of shouted insults before the person shouting ducked inside, around a corner or into a vehicle. It was around this time that I first observed the phenomenon of the whole crew (Christina, Richard, Larry Norman, Ron Stamper, Jeremy Stamper, and assorted hangers on) coming out of the building if I lingered on the front deck. It caught my attention when I noticed Jeremy Stamper using a walkie talkie as I approached the building on Sunday June 3, 2019. A short time (about 15 seconds) later, three of the crew who usually worked on the car came screeching up in a vehicle, jumped out, and approached Jeremy, then turned and all stared at me. Jeremy continued to talk on the walkie talkie, and a few seconds later, Richard Pollington, Christina Stamper and another person came around the building from the 99 side. Christina was holding a walkie-talkie. Maybe it had nothing to do with me, but the walkie-talkies I saw them all using over the next few weeks (except Ron Stamper) would explain how they were able to anticipate my arrival at the building and greet me as a group. Which they did often.

Thursday June 6, 2019 – Until at least 2:30 am (when I was finally able to get to sleep), there were random beeps from horns of the vehicles parked in the driveway. I’d just manage to get to sleep when another one would come. It was pointless to call bylaw or the police, so I did my best to ignore it. I did record details in writing in my notes, but won’t post the scans. Some of the speculations I made about the Pollington and Stamper family tree are unkind, to say the least. And not really relevant.

Friday June 7, 2019 – Another LTB merits hearing, for another of John’s vexatious applications (Doc 285). John Cerino showed up without representation, but was talking to various paralegals while waiting for our turn to have the application heard.

This hearing was for John’s L2 application, SOL-01323-19, based on the N5’s served on December 28, 2018 and January 24, 2019 (Doc 255 and Doc 263). This would be John Cerino’s third attempt to evict us. John had a new toy; it appeared to be a device for shooting small projectiles. John was shooting sunflower seeds from it. He’d also brought Christina Stamper, Agostino and Richard Pollington along with at least two of the crew who regularly worked on Jeremy Stamper’s car in the driveway. Their sole purpose appears to have been harassment; they spent the time before the hearing and after shooting more sunflower seeds at me, glaring menacingly as they walked past in the hallways, and sitting just behind us in the hearing room, occasionally bumping my chair from behind. (It sounds juvenile, and it was. It was also distracting and irritating). Neither of the two thugs were signed in as witnesses, or sat near, or had anything to do with John, but they arrived and left with him in the same passenger van.

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 (AR-, I wasn’t too worried.

John found a paralegal willing to represent him for the L2 application. Her name is Dale Skreveckasand it became apparent very early in the conversation that she was unaware of the other ongoing applications between our landlord and ourselves.

The narrative that follows is taken from the hearing recordings, and my own and my roomate’s recollection of events.

04:35 – 4:51 in the LTB hearing recording (AR 157) or (AR-158a). Ms Skreveckas asked us if we were interested in mediation. We refused

11:00 in AR-157 I 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. Chairman Guzina asks for John’s rep, John answers that she is in the other hearing room. Chairman tells John to go get her. Several minutes of mudane hearing room noises, and Guizina briefly addressing another matter.

14:51 – Chairman is informed Ms Sverkeckas is in mediation. Chariman says the requests will be dealt with when she is out of mediation.

1:14:15 – we tell Guzina that Ms Sverkeckas had come into the room and left with John. She was finished mediation. Christina Stamper speaks up and says they aren’t going to be long.

1:14:52 – Christina Stamper offers to go get John and leaves the hearing room.

1:16:30 – Ms Sverkeckas comes back into the room and asks for fifteen minutes to consult with her client. She says this is the first she’s heard of the request. Guzina suggests Ms Sverkeckas get details of the request from us and speak to us outside. She agrees. 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.

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.

1:36:18 – our matter resumes. Ms Skreveckas asked for a recess to look at the case files. Member Guzina gave it to her.

1:50:40 – hearing recesses so rep can look at files from previous applications

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 (so she would have some idea of the length of time before we could speak to her). 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. This part of the hearing was not in the recording provided by the LTB. Both sides agreed the application should be joinedbut the Vice Chair’s directive said otherwise. The application couldn’t be joined so it would have to be heard today. Member 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.

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. Immediately after the hearing concluded, Agostino said to me, “We’ll deal with you another way”. I didn’t understand that remark at the time, but I now believe he meant the private complaint made by Richard Pollington.

We also asked for costs, and I tried to raise the matter of John’s behaviour in and around the hearing rooms. Guzina’s response to that was “I’m not responsible for what goes on in the hallways”, which ended the matter. (And it turns out, nobody is. I couldn’t even find out who to ask for the video from the security camera, which might have shown John barring Marie’s entry and the shoving match that followed. There is no barrier to harassing someone in and around LTB hearings, or in criminal court for that matter. As long as it’s low key, it goes. I know. John and his crew have pulled a lot of tricks in and around court. Nothing more than “technical crimes” (for example, hitting someone with a kernel of corn or a sunflower seed shot from a pea-shooter is an assault. Technically. So is spitting on someone.).

This part of the hearing was not included in the hearing recording provided by the LTB. That recording ends abruptly; it’s possible the recorder malfunctioned (a frequent event in LTB hearings, apparently). Or, the rest may be in the recording of the afternoon session. (Update: July 24, 2020: I plan to ask the LTB for the recording of the afternoon session from that day, to see if the rest of our hearing is on it. If I get it, I’ll post it).

The hearing recordings I have are here (Vid 99):

Vid 99 – 2019-06-07 – LTB Hearing – SOL-01323-19 – With Timer

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. He had done it before, on March 7, 2019 (Vid 70). He then got in the same van (parked in front of the LTB building) that he’d arrived in (along with the two thugs), and left. After my conversation with Booker on June 24, 2019 I didn’t bother to record any of it. John was even more obnoxious about it this time around.

The Order that resulted from the hearing is here (Doc 286).

Curiously, the hearing attendance record (Doc 330) shows John’s address as 14 Northgate. That was his previous representative’s address (Jennifer Greenway). She’d quit before the last hearing for this application, in March 2019. Neither of the two thugs John had brought along signed in as witnesses, but Richard Pollington, Agostino Cerino and Christina Stamper did. This hearing used up 40 minutes of a member’s time, and one minute of a mediator’s time.

The tally is at 18 hours 45 minutes of hearing time at the LTB, in 14 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 51 minutes of a mediator’s time. 

On the criminal side, it has used up whatever time the pre-enquete hearing used when process was issued on Pollington’s private complaint. Call it one hearing, 45 minutes.

There have been at least ten complaints to police (at least 6 from our landlord and his crew) resulting in 9 responses, and charges being laid in one case. Municipal Law Enforcement had also expended approximately 5 man-days (including two man days expended sitting in an LTB waiting room, waiting to be called as witnesses) This was getting very expensive for the taxpayer. It was also a significant drain on our resources.

Saturday June 8, 2019 – We were served with this N4 notice (Doc 287).

Note the amount of rent claimed per month: $11,039.95. That is well beyond the guideline increase from our lawful monthly rent of $1,139.95. John botched the paperwork, as always. Every bit of paperwork he does himself is rife with errors.

I was tempted to bring along a corrected copy of the N4 (as well as a correctly filled in L1 update) to the hearing, just to move things along. But it wouldn’t have worked; the N4 was fatally flawed. I just didn’t know that yet. I knew the resulting L1 Application would give us a chance to have our issues heard. Section 82 of the RTA is very useful to tenants. {Update: was very useful. Doug Ford tossed that useful mechanism for justice in Bill 184. Now a tenant just gets to pay rent, with none of that backtalk about repairs or harassment in an eviction hearing for non payment of rent…)

Sunday June 9, 2019 to Sunday June 23, 2019 – The situation calmed itself a bit until the last week of June. Aside from Jeremy Stamper being around a lot more (and constantly exercising his middle fingers in my vicinity) it was pretty quiet. The first court date for Richard Pollington’s private complaint was June 24, 2019 and I think the landlord’s crew was laying low. Jeremy never came to our side of the building and never spoke to me or my roomate. The finger flashes were furtive. Most of the time I approached or left the building, I had my cell phone in my hand. It was large enough that they could see it, and they avoided me for the most part.

Saturday June 15, 2019 – I attended Gage Park around 12:00 noon to meet with an old friend (who was attending Pride). We spoke for about 45 minutes, and as I was leaving the park I noticed a group of people approaching Pride from Main Street East. It was quite clear from a distance that they were looking for trouble.

I had been aware of the “yellow vest protesters” and had observed their antics at City Hall any number of times. I’d also observed police interaction with both sides, and it was clear to me that many of the officers on duty at City Hall were quite comfortable with yellow-vest protesters constantly provoking, harassing and (twice) spitting at counter-protesters. The cops did nothing.

So I stuck around, picked a spot that looked defensible in case of a riot and watched, from a distance. It quickly became apparent that the uniformed officers on scene were not able to contain the situation (and showed zero interest in doing so). I did overhear one woman urging a uniformed cop (female) to intervene. The cop replied “You know we didn’t get a booth, right? This {meaning the escalating situation} is not my problem” and then walked over and spoke to a male cop. I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation because when I heard that I decided to remove myself from the area.

Riots are unpredictable, dangerous and ugly. I’ve been caught in two in my life (G-20 and another Pride, a long time ago) and had no desire to repeat the experience. Many of the yellow-vests and a few of the “Pride Defenders” were wearing body armour and/or reinforced gloves. So were the cops. It struck me as a good idea to be somewhere (anywhere) else after I heard that female cop say what she did. (And I think that’s the same woman referred to in Bergman’s report, Section 6). I didn’t record any of this because everybody else had a camera running at this point. Except, unfortunately, the woman talking to the cop (if it was the same one as in Bergman’s report). Police body cameras would have been very useful in this situation, but I doubt that will ever happen in Hamilton. It means cops can’t lie so freely.

The friend I was meeting at Gage Park was the one who was with me when I first met Constable Allcroft, Mike. (see this post).

In 1989, I’d been assaulted in a bar. As a result of that assault I have injuries that I am still living with. The assault was motivated by the assailant’s belief that I was gay. I didn’t mention that to the police because I had no desire to out myself (I was a reserve officer at the time). In early 1990, Mike had handed me a stack of polaroids, and asked me if I knew any of the men pictured. The second one was the one of the guys who had assaulted me in 1989. My assailant was a cop. That led to me joining a vigilante group dedicated to eradicating gay bashing in Hamilton in late 1990 to early 1995. We called ourselves the Rainbow Platoon, and some of our members were also cops and/or military. So were some of the gay bashers we stopped. It was during this period that I formed the opinion that anyone wearing an HPS cap badge has suspect integrity.

Monday June 24, 2019 – As I was waiting for my ride downtown to attend a hearing for Richard Pollington’s private information, Jeremy Stamper came out onto the front deck, looked at me, smiled and went to our side of the building on the front deck. I pulled my phone out and started recording; that was (as far as I knew) a breach of Jeremy’s conditions. He wasn’t supposed to be on our side of the building (Vid71).

There wasn’t time to make a complaint to police. I was due in criminal court to answer Richard Pollington’s private complaint. Taking into account later events, I now believe this was deliberate.

So I went to the hearing. While waiting for the court to be in session, I noticed that Agostino and Richard were the only two there of our landlord’s crew. John hadn’t hired representation for Richard, unless Agostino was it.

At the hearing I received disclosure from the Crown. I was being charged (on a private information) with one count of uttering threats and one count of criminal harassment. After two and a half years of unfounded complaints to police, our landlord was finally taking the DIY approach to framing a tenant for a crime. Through Richard Pollington.

The disclosure (Doc 331) was nearly identical to the package I’d received from Jennifer Greenway on March 6, 2019 (Doc 275).

Nowhere in the disclosure did it tell me the words I am alleged to have uttered, or when I said them. It’s a bit difficult to defend yourself against an accusation of making threats when you don’t know what your said or when you said it.

The criminal harassment complaint appeared to be a collection of incidents common to our landlords L2 applications. Two of the incidents that Richard Pollington alleges are criminal harassment against him are particularly puzzling as they don’t even involve Richard Pollington. Another act of criminal harassment alleged was that I’d “summoned” Mr Pollington and “the neighbour” to the LTB for “interfering with his comfort of living”.

Like all of John’s vexatious LTB applications, the accusations themselves were so vague it was hard to tell what incidents in real life that they were based upon (if any). At least John is consistent.

The case was remanded until July 15, 2019. Another day off work.

I did make a complaint to police about Jeremy Stamper. The officers who responded (three of them) informed me that Jeremy had been given a conditional discharge and was under conditions not to communicate with me. There were no longer restrictions on where Jeremy could go. That surprised me a bit. The victim impact statement I’d submitted should have led to stronger conditions. The Occurrence Details, General Report and other documents are here (Doc 294).

All three officers were visibly disturbed by the camera, and the dance around the room while the three of them tried to simultaneously moveout the field of view of the camera was almost comical. What wasn’t comical was Booker’s stubborn refusal to concede a difference between following someone around with a camera, and using a camera to record someone following you around.

There are differences between my statements to police (which were recorded), and the statements made in the General Report that were attributed to me.

Here’s a few:

On today’s date at 1733hrs, Police were dispatched to BOSCH’S residence as he wanted to make a Harassment complaint against his landlord and to report {redacted} was near the residence

That’s accurate, but not complete. The criminal harassment complaint was against John Cerino and Richard Pollington. I was careful to say so.

Upon arrival, BOSCH allowed the team into his apartment and immediately set up his camera to record the interaction.

It was set up and running when I went downstairs to let them into the apartment. I didn’t touch the camera, or approach it at any time the officers were in the unit.

He then showed the Police a still shot of him filming and audio recording his landlord who was also filming him.

Actually, it was a still shot and a video recording of John following us with a camera (the same ones as posted on this blog). When Booker told me I was doing the same thing as John, I answered “I’m not following him with a camera”. Booker seemed unable, or unwilling, to understand the difference between recording someone following you with a hidden camera (which is what I was doing) and following someone while recording them on camera (which was what John was doing). I didn’t mind John and his crew recording me as I approached or left the building. Fair was fair. But I did mind them following me around with cameras off the property, and did mention two other occasions where it had happened. Booker insisted there was no difference. I disagree. I also mentioned the times Richard Pollington had stood on our doorstep with a camera, recording us while we were inside the apartment. Booker didn’t give a damn. It was quite clear to me he thought the whole thing was a waste of his time. Why HPS sent three cops to this complaint is a mystery.

Since February of 2017 the Police have responded to 9 incidents involving BOSCH, the landlord and other residents of the property.

This doesn’t quite add up, and only makes sense to me if there was an Occurrence Report generated by Richard Pollington’s complaint on January 3, 2019. To this point, I have only 8 Occurrence reports.

These incidents have all been investigated and concluded as non-criminal except for an incident in November of 2018.

At least Booker read the background a little more carefully than Centurioni had on December 8, 2018, but he still didn’t get it right. Occurrence #17670910 (John’s assault on me, Doc 140) on July 20, 2017 had been concluded as “insufficient evidence to lay charges” (which is different from “non-criminal”). There was a crime committed. Likewise, Incident #18801326 (the vandalism to the front door, December 8, 2018 (Doc 250)) had been concluded as “unsolved” (which is also different than “non-criminal”). There was a crime committed then, too.

There’s been crimes committed on most of the other occasions where Marie or I had called police too, but Booker couldn’t have known that if he were relying on previous reports that reported the events as non-criminal (such as Doc 248). But he missed those two.

BOSCH was advised no criminal offence took place and he became irate.

This statement is accurate, but misleading. It’s true that I was advised no criminal offence had taken place. And it’s true that I became irate after I’d been advised of that. But not right after, and not because I’d been told that there was no criminal offence on Jeremy Stamper’s part. I hadn’t been aware that his conditions had changed (and was a bit annoyed that the court hadn’t even bother to contact the victim, who had submitted a victim impact statement). I became irate after Booker tried to tell us we’d be better off moving, and that he would do so if “I had neighbors like that”, and then starting blaming us with the false “It takes two to tango” analogy so near and dear to HPS hearts. {Briefly, it means “You’re both at fault, the same way it takes two people cooperating to dance the tango. If either one of you quits, the dance ends.” This analogy overlooks the fact that to successfully “tango” requires the active participation of both parties. A dispute doesn’t. If I walk up to you and kick you in the balls, you’re in a fight whether you want to be or not. It only takes one party to start, or continue, a dispute.}

That statement is a contradiction of his statement that no criminal offence had taken place. {Briefly, if he would indeed move as a result of his neighbors’ deliberate behavior intended to induce him to move, then his neighbors’ behavior is depriving him of his reasonable enjoyment of his rental unit, a right he holds under law. That is criminal (Criminal Mischief).}

Real Life kept me occupied the rest of June, but in the first few days of July I prepared amendments to two of our T2 applications (SOT-91682-18 and SOT-99829-18) to bring one up to date (SOT-99829-18) and one more detailed and to add a few incidents that I had not been aware were connected to the events already alleged in the application (SOT-91682-18).

The tally is at 18 hours 45 minutes of hearing time at the LTB, in 14 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 51 minutes of a mediator’s time. 

On the criminal side, it has used up whatever time the pre-enquete hearing used when process was issued on Pollington’s private complaint (call it one hearing, 45 minutes) and one short appearance (5 minutes) for a total of 50 minutes of a judge’s time.

There have been at least eleven complaints to police (at least 6 from our landlord and his crew) resulting in 10 responses, and charges being laid in one case.

Municipal Law Enforcement had also expended approximately 5 man-days (including two man days expended sitting in an LTB waiting room, waiting to be called as witnesses).

Wednesday July 3, 2019 – A sign saying “Warning: Security Cameras in Use” appeared on Richard Pollington’s front door (Fig 82).

Thursday July 4, 2019 – I served John with a copy of amendments to two of our applications, as well as a 64GB SD card with all the latest videos and audio recordings, as well as a few documents.

2019-07-04 1346 – Disclosure to John Cerino

Saturday July 6, 2019 – Live bedbugs were discovered in the unit. Marie and I discussed the problem, and decided to arrange for our own exterminator.

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