Our discipline hearings are open to the public except when a panel determines that it may be closed under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and the Statutory Powers and Procedures Act. Space is limited and observers will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. Please contact our discipline department if you would like to attend a hearing. If you are a member of the media and you would like to attend or report on a hearing please contact our communications department.
At the hearing panel’s discretion, use of an audio recorder may be permitted for note-taking purposes only. Rebroadcast of a hearing is strictly prohibited. Information about upcoming discipline hearings is updated when it becomes available. Changes may occur and hearings may be rescheduled or cancelled on short notice.
Starting September 2022, contested hearings will be scheduled to be held in-person through a third-party facilitator upon consent of the parties. Uncontested matters will continue to be held virtually, as well as all pre-hearings, until further notice. We will ensure to continue to follow any provincial health guidelines that are in place and make the necessary changes should they arise. Hearing dates can change at any time.
The first thing you should consider is whether or not to retain legal counsel. Should the matter proceed to a hearing, OMVIC will be represented by a lawyer.
We recognizes that for some dealers or salespersons, retaining legal representation may be financially out of reach. To find out more about the legal resources available, please visit Law Society Referral Service.
Following a careful review of the allegations contained in the Notice of Complaint, the dealer or salesperson is expected to respond in writing to the allegations within 15 days and attach any relevant supporting documents.
The majority of Notice of Complaints are resolved by way of an Agreed Statement of Facts without the need for a formal hearing. A key factor in determining whether a Notice of Complaint can be resolved without a formal hearing is the registrant’s written response.
It is important to review all of the allegations and respond to each one, attaching relevant supporting documents if available.
Following OMVIC’s review of the registrant’s response:
When the parties are unable to reach terms of settlement, the Discipline Committee will send a questionnaire to both parties seeking information to assist with the scheduling of the hearing. A pre-hearing is held beforehand. A Notice of Hearing will follow, advising of the date, time and location of the hearing.
A hearing is a formal proceeding (sometimes referred to as a contested hearing) before an independent panel comprised of members of the industry and the public. The responsibility of proving the allegations rests with OMVIC who is first to present its case.
The Rules of Practice require each party deliver, a minimum of 15 days in advance of the date of the hearing, all documents and items they intend to rely on at the hearing. This is fundamental to procedural fairness which includes the opportunity to review all materials or evidence the opposing party intends to rely on at a contested hearing. Each party is required to bring five (5) copies of all documents to distribute at the hearing.
Following opening statements of each party’s general position regarding the allegations, the panel will hear evidence. Evidence may be in the form of documents or in the form of oral testimony given by witnesses. For example, the inspector who conducted a related inspection of a dealership or a customer complainant may be called as a witness. The respondent will be given the opportunity to ask questions of OMVIC’s witnesses.
Once OMVIC has presented its evidence, it is the respondents turn to introduce documents and to call witnesses to testify on your behalf. Each party is responsible for ensuring its witnesses attend. Similarly, OMVIC will have an opportunity to ask questions of the respondents witnesses.
Should the respondent require a person to give evidence that is relevant to the allegations and they are not willing to attend the hearing, the respondent may contact email@example.com who will provide you with a Summons Form 12A. It is the respondent’s responsibility to compensate all their witnesses as set out in the fees/allowances section under Tariff A, Part II (disbursements) of the Rules of Civil Procedure under the Courts of Justice Act.
Once each party has completed presenting all of their evidence, each party will be given an opportunity to summarize their arguments concerning whether or not there was a failure to comply with the Code of Ethics (CoE). The panel will determine what breaches, if any of the CoE have occurred.
The panel will also ask each party for their views on what an appropriate penalty (fine, education or costs) should be in the event the panel determines there was a failure to comply with the CoE. Decisions are not given at the hearing but sent to each party within a reasonable amount of time after the conclusion of the hearing.
The chair of the Discipline Committee will appoint an independent impartial panel of three members to consider the allegations contained in the Notice of Discipline. The panel will consist of two registered motor vehicle dealers/salespeople and one member of the public.
The panel will also have its own lawyer commonly referred to as independent legal counsel. This lawyer does not work for OMVIC and is not a member of the panel; they may be called upon from time to time to provide legal advice or assist the panel with procedural matters.
If the Discipline Committee determines that a dealer or salesperson has failed to comply with the CoE, it may order any of the following:
A party may make a request to the discipline coordinator to participate in a pre-hearing conference via Zoom which is an informal and unrecorded discussion with one member of the Discipline Committee. All discussions at a pre-hearing conference are conducted on a without prejudice basis, meaning that nothing said will be disclosed at a contested hearing. The member of the Discipline Committee facilitating the pre-hearing will not sit on the panel at the contested hearing.
The purpose of the pre-hearing is to reach a settlement of the matter, identify and narrow issues, seek agreement on certain facts or evidence, determine time requirements and facilitate the exchange of information. All pre-hearings are closed to the public.
With the exception of the parties, all witnesses are to remain outside until called to testify, this is commonly referred to as an Order Excluding Witnesses. This is done to prevent a witness from being influenced by another person’s testimony.
Discipline hearings are open to the public unless a panel determines it should be closed pursuant to the Statutory Powers and Procedures Act.
A motion is a request to the Discipline Committee to obtain a ruling or decision on a specific matter relevant to the case. Parties must notify the Discipline Committee of any intention to file a motion and seek a date from the Discipline Committee.
The party bringing the motion must serve and file a copy of the written motion (see Form 9A) on each party and with the Discipline Committee a minimum of 15 business days prior to the date of the motion hearing. A party who wishes to respond to the motion must serve and file their written reply to each party and a copy to the Discipline Committee a minimum of five days before the motion hearing.
The decision of the panel is final, unless written notice setting out the grounds for appeal is delivered to OMVIC and to the attention of the Chair of the Appeals Committee within 30 days upon receipt of the discipline panel’s decision (see Form 14A).
A party who chooses to appeal is required to provide five (5) copies of the transcripts of the hearing to the Appeals Committee and one (1) copy to OMVIC’s legal department. The party appealing will also need to contact a certified court reporter to produce the transcripts of the proceeding. The Discipline Committee will send the recording of the hearing directly to the court reporter selected. Arrangement for the cost and delivery of the transcripts is the responsibility of the party appealing.
Following receipt of the grounds for appeal and necessary copies of the transcripts, the parties will be given an opportunity to appear before the Appeals Committee and make submissions concerning the grounds for appeal. The Appeals Committee may overturn, affirm or modify the Order of the Discipline Committee.
All discipline decisions must be made public and are available to review.
Review our guide to the discipline and appeals process