Jun 1, 2020

MLB Headnote and Key Numbers

Benjamin (Re), 2016 ONCA 118 (CanLII)

Benjamin, Re (2016), 345 O.A.C. 210 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2016] O.A.C. TBEd. FE.019

An Appeal under Part XX.1 of the Code

In The Matter Of Coleby Benjamin

(C60616; 2016 ONCA 118)

Indexed As: Benjamin, Re

Ontario Court of Appeal

Watt, Lauwers and Hourigan, JJ.A.

February 12, 2016.

Summary:

Benjamin was charged with seven counts of assault, assault of a peace officer, three counts of threats, and two counts of failure to comply with a recognizance. He was found unfit to stand trial on account of mental disorder and ordered by the court to be detained at a mental health facility. At Benjamin's first hearing before the Ontario Review Board, the parties presented a joint submission to continue the court-ordered disposition. The Board did not accept the joint submission and instead ordered a more restrictive disposition. Benjamin appealed.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Administrative Law - Topic 2266

Natural justice - The duty of fairness - What constitutes procedural fairness - [See Criminal Law - Topic 93.96].

Administrative Law - Topic 2444

Natural justice - Procedure - Notice - Contents and sufficiency of notice - [See Criminal Law - Topic 93.96].

Criminal Law - Topic 93.94

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Jurisdiction and powers - Benjamin was charged with several offences, including assault and threats - He was found unfit to stand trial on account of mental disorder and ordered by the court to be detained at a mental health facility - At Benjamin's first hearing before the Ontario Review Board, the parties presented a joint submission to continue the court-ordered disposition - The Board rejected the joint submission and instead ordered a more restrictive disposition - Benjamin appealed - The Ontario Court of Appeal stated that "the context can also make it clear that the proposed disposition may not be easily accepted by the Board and will have to be amply demonstrated on the evidence. This was the Board's first disposition, and it followed a disposition by a judge who, unlike the members of the panel, was not an expert on the issues to be determined." - See paragraph 23.

Criminal Law - Topic 93.96

General principles - Mental disorder - Dispositions by court or review board - Duties of court or review board - Benjamin was charged with several offences, including assault and threats - He was found unfit to stand trial on account of mental disorder and ordered by the court to be detained at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care - At Benjamin's first hearing before the Ontario Review Board, the parties presented a joint submission to continue the court-ordered disposition - Based on the level of violence that Benjamin continued to manifest, the Board rejected the joint submission and instead ordered a more restrictive disposition by removing Waypoint's authority to transfer Benjamin to another facility, move him into a group home, or allow his mother to take him out of the hospital - Benjamin appealed, arguing that the Board breached its duty of procedural fairness by imposing a more restrictive disposition without giving the parties an opportunity to address its concerns - The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - The Board's questions showed that it considered the initial disposition to have been too permissive in Benjamin's current circumstances - While it would have been preferable for the Board to clearly express its reservations about the joint submission at the outset, the notice provided by the questions was adequate and procedurally fair - Benjamin had and took the opportunity to call his mother in response.

Cases Noticed:

Osawe, Re (2015), 333 O.A.C. 336; 2015 ONCA 280, refd to. [para. 2].

Hassan, Re (2011), 283 O.A.C. 154; 2011 ONCA 561, refd to. [para. 20].

R. v. Lepage (D.L.) (1997), 103 O.A.C. 241; 152 D.L.R.(4th) 318 (C.A.), affd. [1999] 2 S.C.R. 744; 241 N.R. 142; 122 O.A.C. 184, refd to. [para. 20].

Thurston, Re (2015), 334 O.A.C. 385; 2015 ONCA 351, refd to. [para. 20].

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817; 243 N.R. 22, refd to. [para. 21].

Kachkar, Re (2014), 318 O.A.C. 247; 309 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 2014 ONCA 250, refd to. [para. 21].

Counsel:

R. Michael Rodé, for the appellant, Coleby Benjamin;

Hannah Freeman, for the respondent, Attorney General;

Janice Blackburn, for the respondent, person in charge, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.

This appeal was heard on January 26, 2016, before Watt, Lauwers and Hourigan, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal. Lauwers, J.A., delivered the following judgment for the court on February 12, 2016.