The Hearing Procedure - Normal Farm Practices Protection Board
Table of Contents
So you've come to the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board for a hearing. At the hearing, you want to convince the board to rule in your favour. You must present your evidence through your witnesses, question the other party's witnesses to try to counter their evidence, and then present your arguments based on the evidence. You and the other party each have the choice of representing yourself or retaining legal representation.
Note: The applicant is the person who brought the case to the board. The respondent is the person against whom the applicant brought the case. The applicant and respondent are called "parties".
The chair asks the parties (applicant, then respondent) to identify themselves. The chair then announces whether there will be a site visit. The board sometimes visits the site of the complaint to get a better appreciation of the issues.
The applicant makes an opening statement to briefly outline their case.
The respondent then makes an
If you're the applicant, you begin presenting your case by calling your first witness. If you want to present the case yourself, you must be sworn in as a witness.
Each witness goes through the following procedure:
If you are the respondent, you begin calling your witnesses when the applicant is finished with his/her witnesses. The process is the same as for the applicant.
In some cases the board may feel that the parties' witnesses may not provide particular information needed for making a proper decision. In such cases, the board may call its own expert witness. The procedure for board witnesses is:
When all the evidence has been presented, it is now time for arguments. The applicant uses the evidence presented to make his/her case. Then the respondent does the same. The applicant is allowed a brief statement to reply to the points made by the respondent. In the arguments, each party should make suggestions to the board about how it should rule.
The chair then adjourns the hearing. Decisions are normally issued about 60 working days later, in writing, with the reasons for the decision.
The Board tries to hold hearings in areas where the complaints originate. Often the Board holds a hearing in the municipal chambers of the local municipality and the tables are typically set up as shown below. Sometimes the Board does a site visit to get a better appreciation of the issues.
This pamphlet is not a substitute for legal advice and representation. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs accepts no responsibility or liability for the outcome of any Hearing in which any party relies on this pamphlet.
This is the third in a series of pamphlets that include:
It is also strongly recommended that you pick up the Citizen's Guide to the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Local: (519) 826-4047