Ontario Civil


Administrative Law

NATURAL JUSTICE
Failure to provide required medical evidence due to lack of diligence

Appeal by teacher from respondent College’s Disciplinary Committee’s refusal to grant adjournment. Hearing proceeded in appellant’s absence and he was found to have committed professional misconduct. Appellant sought new hearing at which he could participate. Hearing was originally scheduled for 2005 but, over course of six years, various dates were set and adjourned because of appellant’s health and involvement in other proceedings. In January 2010, adjournment was granted to July 26, 2010, but terms were imposed, including requirement that any further extension would only be considered if based on specific, supported medical grounds. Appellant requested adjournment in early July and attached letter from psychiatrist indicating he was depressed, but saying nothing about his ability to attend hearing, and letter from family doctor stating he was medically unstable to attend hearing because of depression and heart problems. Hearing coordinator wrote to appellant and advised further evidence was required as materials provided said nothing about appellant’s treatment, prognosis or when he might be available for hearing. Appellant did not respond or attend hearing. Committee’s decision noted it gave careful consideration to adjournment request but found appellant had not met conditions he agreed to. Appellant denied receiving hearing coordinator’s letter and claimed he would have submitted more evidence had he known it was needed. Appeal dismissed. Appellant’s submissions did not deal with fact he did not comply with terms of medical evidence at first instance. Furthermore, appellant sent letter to the hearing coordinator two weeks later, in which he enclosed her letter, so had clearly received it. Failure to provide required medical evidence was due to lack of diligence. Appellant also breached condition requiring him to request file from his lawyer within two weeks of when adjournment was granted. Decision refusing to grant adjournment was justified and there was no denial of procedural fairness. Appellant could have had a hearing, but was consistently unwilling to proceed.

McIntyre v. Ontario College of Teachers (Oct. 12, 2012, Ont. S.C.J. (Div. Ct.), Lax, Hambly and Lederer JJ., File No. 22/11) 222 A.C.W.S. (3d) 405.

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