Other General Applications

Information Sheet GA 17

Information Sheets about General Applications explain what you must show for most common applications to the Tribunal.

This Information Sheets explains what you must show for other general applications.

Conditions for granting a general application

You must apply using a General Application. Your application must show that:

Granting the order will facilitate the just and timely resolution of the complaint.

For example: Changing the hearing location will facilitate the just and timely resolution of the complaint.

Information to include in the application

  • The reasons for your request
  • The effect on the other parties (and why granting the application would be fair)
  • The effect on the complaint process (and why this is appropriate in the circumstances)

Examples of other general applications

  1. Request for particulars (details) of complaint or response to complaint

If you think another party’s details of their complaint or response to a complaint are too vague or leave out important facts, such that you cannot properly respond, you may ask the Tribunal for an order directing that party to provide “particulars” or details. Your application should explain why the other party has not given enough facts or details to allow you to understand their position and prepare to respond to it.

  1. Application to define or clarify the scope of complaint

The scope of the complaint means what allegations are included. For example, the conduct, dates, and grounds the complaint is about. Usually this is clear from the complaint and the Tribunal’s letter advising that it has accepted all or part of the complaint for filing. If you are uncertain, try to reach agreement with the other parties. If you cannot agree, your application should identify what part of the complaint you want the Tribunal to clarify.

  1. Application to end a complaint deferral

If the Tribunal defers a complaint, it will normally give a time limit for how long the complaint process will be put on hold. If you want the complaint process to restart before that time, you can apply to end the deferral. In your application, explain what has changed since the Tribunal deferred the complaint and why the Tribunal should end the deferral.

For example, if the Tribunal deferred a complaint because of another proceeding, and that process is moving much more slowly than expected, you would explain why it would now be fairer to proceed with the complaint instead of waiting for the other proceeding to finish.

  1. Application for “will-say” or witness statements

A “will-say” or witness statement is a summary of the evidence that a witness will give at a hearing. It has two purposes: fairness and efficiency. First, if a party understands the other side’s case, it is easier to prepare for the hearing. Second, if the parties can identify areas of testimony they agree about, the hearing will run more smoothly.

A “will-say” statement is only necessary if you do not know what evidence a witness will give. When the parties have exchanged witness lists, they can discuss the need for will-say statements. In an application, you should explain why a will-say statement is necessary for you to understand the other side’s case.

  1. Application for disclosure of witness contact information

If you want a party to disclose contact information for a potential witnesses, your application should name the potential witness and say why:

  • the person is likely to have relevant evidence
  • you believe the other party has the contact information
  • the contact information is necessary to contact the potential witness
  • giving the contact information at this stage will not delay the process too much

The importance of access to potential witnesses must be balanced against the privacy interests of those persons. If necessary, the Tribunal can put restrictions on its order.

For example, it might order that only work contact information be provided, rather than personal cell phone numbers.

  1. Application to give evidence by video or telephone

Hearings are usually in person. If you want a witness to be allowed to give evidence via video or telephone, your application should include the following information:

  • The reasons for your request. Be specific. Some cost or inconvenience to attend the hearing is not enough.
  • The effect on the other parties. For example, it may be harder to cross-examine a witness over the phone. This may be unfair if credibility is an issue.
  • The effect on the process. For example, if a witness needs to be shown documents, this may not be practical by phone or video.

Application to change hearing location

Hearings are usually held at the place where the incident giving rise to the complaint occurred. If you want to change the location, you must persuade the Tribunal that, on balance, it is fairer and more convenient to change the location of the hearing.

Information the Tribunal will consider includes:

  • Where do the proposed witnesses live? How far will they have to travel if the hearing is moved?
  • Who will incur costs if the hearing is moved? Who will incur costs if it is not? Are these costs reasonable, or onerous?
  • Does a participant’s health prevent him or her from travelling?
  1. Application for a pre-hearing examination of a witness

Usually, witnesses are examined and cross-examined at a hearing. However, in exceptional cases, the Tribunal will allow a party to examine a witness before the hearing. Your application should include the following information:

  • The reasons for your request. An examination may assist a party in knowing the case it has to meet. However, the Tribunal will ask whether it is necessary. Is there no other way to get the information? 
  • Impact on the other party. Would the examination be unfair? Would it be intimidating? Is the other party represented by a lawyer? Is there a risk that the examination could turn into a “fishing expedition”? Who would bear the cost?
  • Impact on complaint process. Would the examination expedite the complaint process or delay it? The Tribunal will consider that its process is meant to be as informal as possible.
  1. Application for an independent medical assessment

Usually, when a party requires a medical evaluation, one performed by the party’s own doctor is  sufficient. However, there may be situations where the other party disagrees with the assessment or wants more information. The Tribunal may order an independent medical assessment (IMA), but will be reluctant to order one unless the evidence sought is critical to the determination of the complaint, given the coercive nature of a mandatory medical assessment.

Here are some of the factors the Tribunal will consider in deciding whether to order an IMA:

  • Can the issues between the parties be determined without ordering an IMA?
  • Is the available medical evidence unclear, ambiguous, or otherwise unreliable?
  • Would an order to disclose other medical records be sufficient to provide the requested information?
  • Have the potential experts and their specialties been identified by the applicant?
  • What would the focus of the assessment be?
  • Is the person sought to be examined especially vulnerable? Would privacy issues be engaged?