This is general information only. It is not legal advice about your situation. This publication is not a substitute for a lawyer’s research, analysis and judgment.
- When is a reply necessary?
- If I need to file a reply, what should I include in my reply?
- How do I decide what is a “new matter” that should be included in my reply?
- What is not an example of a “new matter” that I do not need to include in my reply?
- What if I disagree with some of the facts that the Respondent states in the response?
- Who gets a copy of my reply?
- How do I file my reply with the Tribunal?
- When do I have to file my reply with the Tribunal?
- Does the Respondent(s) get to respond to my reply?
After your application (Form 1) is delivered to the Respondent(s) by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal), the Respondent(s) are expected to deliver and file a response (Form 2) to your application. The Tribunal delivers the response to you. Once the response is delivered, you may complete a reply (Form 3).
The reply is your opportunity to respond to the facts and allegations set out in the response. It is the final part of the “pleadings” – i.e., the application, response and reply – that make up the written record of the Applicant’s and the Respondent(s)’s claims about what happened.
A reply is not required in every case, but only where the response raises new matters or presents a version of events that you need to contradict. It is common for Respondents to raise new matter or present a different version of the facts, so a reply is likely to be required in most cases.
A reply may also be required where the response raises a request for an order to dismiss or defer your application. For example, this may happen if you:
- Filed a claim in another forum about the same events (for example, a union grievance or a claim at the Ministry of Labour, Employment Insurance Commission, or Landlord and Tenant Board)
- Signed a settlement with the Respondent(s)
You will be able to tell if you will have to prepare a reply, because of a request to dismiss, if the letter from the Tribunal that accompanies the response advises you that you need to address the request to dismiss or defer your application.
You should not repeat the version of events that you have already set out in your application. There are two (2) questions for you to answer in your reply:
- What is the new matter or different fact(s) that are raised in the response?
- What is your reply to this new matter or different fact(s)?
If you are being asked to respond to a request to dismiss, you will also need to set out why the Respondent’s arguments for dismissal are wrong.
A new matter is something that you did not bring up in your application. For example, the application may claim that you were terminated from your employment because the employer refused to take the appropriate measures to accommodate your disability. The employer’s response may claim that the reason for the termination was for performance related issues and had nothing to do with your disability. The issue of your work performance is a “new matter” that you will have to address in your reply if you dispute that you had any performance related problems.
Sometimes, the response does not really raise any new matters but it may simply respond to each fact or incident that you have referenced in your application.
For example, if you claimed in your application that a meeting (i) took place on a certain date (e.g. July 30, 2010) with (ii) a number of people in attendance and (iii) that issues of accommodating your disability were not discussed at that meeting, the response may provide a different version of who was in attendance and what was discussed at the meeting. In other words, you have already provided a version of the events in your application and you do not need to restate your version.
The Tribunal wants to understand how your version of the events differs from the Respondent’s version. Sometimes the differences are clear from the application and the response themselves. If this is the case, no reply will be required. Sometimes, however, you will need to provide more facts in order for your side of the story to be complete. If this is the case, you will need to file a reply.
For example, if the employer raises performance related issues in the response, you may agree that there were some performance related issues, but you may disagree with the description of events given by the Respondent. You need to say why you disagree and set out your version of the facts. You do not need to repeat the version of the facts that are already set out in your application in the reply.
You must deliver a copy of your Reply to all the other parties and any trade union or occupational or professional organization and other person or organization identified as an affected party in your application and in the response.
You need to complete a statement of delivery (Form 23) and file your reply and the statement of delivery with the Tribunal. The statement of delivery form confirms that you have sent the reply to all of the required parties.
The deadline for filing your reply is twenty one (21) days after the date of the letter that the Tribunal sent to you when it sent you the response.
If you need more time, you can write to the Tribunal, as soon as possible before the deadline, to request an extension. Tell the Tribunal why you are requesting an extension. Also, it is a good idea to ask the Respondent(s) whether they will consent to the extension, and if they will, to tell that to the Tribunal as well. Do not assume that an extension will be granted – the Tribunal has the right to refuse and may do so.
No. The Respondent(s) only gets to respond to your application. Your reply is the final stage of the pleadings that are delivered and filed at the Tribunal.