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 Appealing an Ontario Review Board Decision

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This Info guide has been prepared by the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for general Informational purposes only.  It does not contain legal advice.  If you have a question of would like advice about your specific legal situation, you should contact a lawyer.

June 2016

Why would I appeal a decision of the Ontario Review Board?

  • You may appeal a decision by the Ontario Review Board to the Court of Appeal if you believe the Ontario Review Board has made a mistake in fact or in law. 
  • As these are complex issues, it is suggested that you consult with a lawyer regarding your concerns.

 

What do I need to file an appeal?

  • The disposition order (decision) of the Ontario Review Board and the reasons for decision. These are two separate documents that you will receive from the Ontario Review Board. The disposition is usually issued two days to two weeks after the hearing and it is the order of the Ontario Review Board to grant you a detention order, absolute discharge or conditional discharge. The reasons for decision provide an explanation for the Ontario Review Board’s decision and it can sometimes take a few months to receive the reasons.  
  • The Form E, “Notice of Appeal” can be requested from the Ontario Review Board, the Court of Appeal, the person in charge of the hospital or the local Patient Advocate. The basic outline of the Form E can also be found at: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/si-93-169/page-11.html 

 

When can I file an appeal?

  • The Form E must be served upon the person in charge of the hospital no later than 15 days after you receive a copy of the reasons for decision from the Ontario Review Board. If you serve the Form E after the 15 day deadline, the Form E must include a request to the Court to grant you an extension of time to file your appeal.

 

How do I complete the Form E?

  • Answer the questions in the Form as completely as possible.
  • If you are serving the Form E more than 15 days after you received the reasons for decision from the Ontario Review Board, you must explain why you are serving it late in the portion of the Form referring to an application for an extension of time.
  • Explain why you disagree with the Ontario Review Board's decision. You should explain not only that the decision is incorrect but also why it is incorrect. 
  • If you intend to represent yourself at the appeal, you should advise the Court of this fact in a covering letter to your appeal.
  • The Court has developed an amicus curiae (a Latin phrase that means ‘friend of the court’) program where a lawyer assists the Court by providing information about the appeal if you are not represented by a lawyer.

 

How do I serve and file the Form E?

  • Once the Form E is completed, you must serve the Form E upon the person in charge of the hospital no later than 15 days from the day you received the reasons for decision from the Ontario Review Board.  
  • If you were unable to serve the Form E within the required time, you may still serve the person in charge of the hospital at a later date, providing you complete the portion of the Form referring to an application for an extension of time. 
  • The person in charge of the hospital will send the Form E to the Court of Appeal. 
  • Be sure to keep a copy of the Form E for your own records.

 

What happens after I file the Form E?

  • The Ontario Review Board is responsible for sending the original documents and exhibits to the Court of Appeal. The Ministry of the Attorney General will then prepare the appeal book. A copy will be sent to you, as well as the Court and the person in charge of the hospital.
  • If you are not represented by a lawyer, you are not required to file any other documents.
  • You will be notified in writing of the hearing date. Transportation arrangements will be made so you can attend your hearing at the Court of Appeal.

 

Can I apply for a legal aid certificate and hire my own lawyer?

  •  You may apply to Legal Aid Ontario for an opinion certificate.
  • The opinion certificate will be granted if you are financially eligible and meet the other requirements for Legal Aid.
  • Your lawyer will provide an opinion to Legal Aid Ontario outlining the merits of your appeal.
  • Legal Aid Ontario will review the opinion letter and decide whether you will receive funding for the appeal.
  • If a certificate for the appeal is given, legal aid funding will be made available to your lawyer to represent you during the appeal. If you require assistance in contacting a lawyer, your local Patient Advocate can assist you by providing a list of lawyers who offer representation for Appeals.
  • You may also contact Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 and ask for a list of lawyers for appeals.

 

What if I decide not to continue the appeal?

  • If you wish to discontinue or abandon your appeal, a Notice of Abandonment must be filed with the Court of Appeal. You must sign the Notice of Abandonment and have your signature witnessed by a commissioner for taking affidavits (i.e., a person who can swear affidavits) or a lawyer.

 

Questions?

  • For more information, you may contact a court clerk at :
  • Court of Appeal, Osgoode Hall,130 Queen Street West,Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N
  • Tel: (416) 327-5020
  • If you have questions, contact your local Patient Advocate or Rights Adviser or call the central office of the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office at 1-800-578-2343.
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