Evidence is verbal testimony that you and your witnesses provide at the hearing to tell your story, supported by documents, invoices, pictures and other records entered as evidence.
- Determine who you need to call to tell what they saw and heard.
- Talk to your potential witness about their willingness to appear and provide evidence. Let them know that they do not have to attend the hearing in person and can testify by telephone. Tell them the date and time that the hearing will occur and obtain a telephone number where they can be reached during the hearing. Call or email the ORT and provide the witnesses' name and telephone number in advance of the hearing.
- Statements by a witness may be submitted but will not carry the same weight if the witness is not available to answer questions about their statement. If the witness has provided a written statement and there are no questions about the statement at the hearing, it may not be necessary for the witness to testify.
- If a witness is reluctant to attend or provide copies of documents and digital information, you may ask the ORT to provide you with a summons to require attendance at the hearing for testimony and/or production of documents. Some witnesses want a summons to show their employer that they are lawfully compelled to attend.
- To obtain a summons for a witness, you will need to provide the name and address of the witness testifying, explain the nature of what you expect their testimony to be and why it is relevant. To summons a person to provide documents and digital information, you will also need to identify the specific records that are to be produced so that the person will know what documents to find and produce.
- You will have to deliver the summons to the witness so that they know that they are compelled to attend.
- You may also ask that police incident reports, public health inspection reports and inspections by building inspectors be summoned for evidence. Most police, public health and municipal authorities prefer that the ORT fax a summons directly to them. In these cases, you will not be required to serve the summons. In most cases, you will need to contact the police and get their incident report number. This number must be provided to the ORT as the summons needs to state the incident report number for some police forces.
Documents and Digital Information
- You should identify and collect all documents, invoices, photographs, video and other records that you propose to submit as evidence before you submit your claim.
- Your claims should relate to matters that you have evidence to prove. Your claim may change if you find that you do not have evidence to support the claim or if the evidence supports other claims that you had not considered.
- You must provide the other party with a copy of your proposed documentary and digital evidence. It is likely most convenient to deliver it with your hearing notice so you don't have to make a second trip. You need to provide ORT with a copy of all documents.
- If you deliver your material early, the other party can respond with their material sooner. If they do not, you have the option of asking for an adjournment to review the material, arguing that the material should not be allowed due to late production, or waiving late production so that the hearing is not delayed.
- Digital evidence transmitted to the other party by email or other means should pass through a firewall that will ensure the digital information is free of viruses. USB drives may not be as secure. Ask the other party if they will accept digital records and how they should be conveyed. If digital records are not acceptable, or if you don't want to ask, print the records and deliver the printed copies.
- Digital information should be submitted to the ORT by email, subject to the following restrictions:
- The total information in multiple emails relating to the same hearing may not exceed 25 megabytes in total data, nor more than 25 items in total.
- Individual digital documents may not exceed 1 megabyte.
- Video may be submitted to a maximum of 25 megabytes. Video must be in a format that can be played on VLC media player. You can find information on formats supported by VLC media player on the VideoLAN website and elsewhere on the internet. If the size exceeds 25 megabytes, you can submit video on a USB.
- If your evidence exceeds the amount that may be submitted by one email, you may submit the digital information to ORT in multiple emails. Make sure to reference the claim number and/or rental unit address, and include as many attachments as possible to each email.
- USBs will ONLY be accepted by the ORT for large video files.
We encourage settlement, where possible. The other party may respond differently when they see your evidence. A reasonable settlement avoids the time, cost and stress to attend a hearing and wait for a decision. An early resolution has value.