Administrative law – Decisions reviewed – Consent and Capacity Board – Evidence – Judicial review – Appeals – Standard of review – Reasonableness
Woods v. Chatterjee,  O.J. No. 12, 2018 ONSC 73, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, January 3, 2018, P.J. Cavanagh J.
The appellant was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and substance abuse disorder with a history of hospitalizations resulting in antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medications. In March 2016, the appellant’s condition deteriorated and she was found incapable of consenting to proposed treatments, and in June 2016 came under the care of the respondent. The respondent also concluded that the appellant was incapable of consenting to both mood stabilizing and antipsychotic medications. The Consent and Capacity Board (the “Board”) concluded that the appellant could not appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of her decisions regarding both antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medications thereby recognizing the correct approach to determining capacity.
The standard or review in this appeal was reasonableness. The Court observed that the standard of reasonableness meant that “[t]here is no basis for judicial interference with findings or conclusions made by the Board absent demonstrated unreasonableness. An unreasonable decision is one that is not supported by any reasons that can stand up to a somewhat probing examination” (at para. 19).
The appellant advanced five arguments that the Board unreasonably accepted, relied upon and deferred to the evidence of the appellant. The Court reviewed the facts unpinning the Board’s decision and concluded that the appellant “failed to show that the Board misapprehended the evidence and unreasonably dismissed or discounted much of the evidence that was favourable to her on critical points” (at para. 55).
The Court held that the Board’s decision was reasonable as it fell in the range of conclusions that the Board could have reached based on the evidentiary record. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.
This case was digested by Jackson C. Doyle, and first published in the LexisNexis® Harper Grey Administrative Law Netletter and the Harper Grey Administrative Law Newsletter. If you would like to discuss this case further, please contact Jackson C. Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.