Editorial: A former JP’s extraordinary series of litigation

A former justice of the peace who retired following a string of sexual assault allegations against him has launched an extraordinary amount of litigation against Ontario public officials in the years since.

On Feb. 15, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario member Pamela Chapman issued her decision in the latest chapter in the saga, Jogendra v. Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

The case involves Regis Jogendra, the former justice of the peace, whom an earlier ruling noted was a “barrister and solicitor in another common law jurisdiction” and whose initial complaint centred on allegations of discrimination on the basis of ancestry, colour, ethnic origin, place of origin, and race due to the government’s failure to assign him a full-time presiding appointment.

By the time he launched the human rights complaint, he had already retired from his position in 2003.

In the meantime, he had entered into an agreement with the Crown that would see it withdraw 10 counts of sexual assault against him as long as he appeared before the Justices of the Peace Review Council and admitted to the allegations.

That was back in 2000. But before the parties could implement the agreement, he faced a further allegation of sexual assault in 2001. He was acquitted on that charge in 2003.

Jogendra ended up filing his complaint about the promotion in 2007. He also alleged discrimination stemming from the government’s failure to indemnify him for legal costs in defending the criminal charges.

On March 3, 2009, HRTO vice chairman David Muir dismissed Jogendra’s complaint. On Jogendra’s bid for indemnification given his claim that the sexual assault allegations arose out of his duties as a justice of the peace, Muir wrote:

“This is an astonishing position to take given the nature of the charges laid against him. His claim that these charges arose out of and within the course of his employment seems to flow from the fact that the victims of his actions were women he met during the course of his work and the assaults took place at or near the courthouse.

This is simply not what is contemplated by the notion of judicial immunity.”
Jogendra lost his case, in part because he waited too long to launch it, but that didn’t stop the litigation.

He took a Ministry of the Attorney General employee to court for the decision refusing reimbursement of his legal expenses and lost. Now, Muir and the HRTO are facing allegations of discrimination stemming from the 2009 decision in the case noted above before the tribunal itself and Chapman.

Referring to the doctrine of judicial immunity, Chapman dismissed Jogendra’s application, one she called an abuse of process, on Feb. 15. But the matter isn’t necessarily over.

As Chapman noted, a hearing is to take place this Friday to consider Jogendra’s bid to have a “disinterested person” adjudicate the HRTO matter. It’s all very extraordinary, and there are many other court and tribunal decisions in the case.

Certainly, while Jogendra has every right to seek justice, he has clearly gone too far in launching endless litigation.
- Glenn Kauth

To follow the series of litigation, please see: Jogendra v. Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
Jogendra v. Kenneth L. Campbell
Jogendra v. Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
Jogendra v. Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
Jogendra v. Ontario (Attorney General)
Jogendra v. Ontario (Attorney General)
Jogendra v. Ontario (Attorney General)
Jogendra v. Ontario (Attorney General)
Jogendra v. Ontario (Attorney General)

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