3. Understand that you may only get one chance

In most situations, once you start with one legal option you won't be allowed to go back and try a different option later. Courts and tribunals usually do not decide issues that have already been decided by another court or tribunal.

For example, if you go to the (LTB) for a case that involves , the of Ontario (HRTO) will usually refuse to make a decision about the same case. The HRTO can dismiss or cancel your case if they think it's about an issue that's already been decided somewhere else.

Even if the LTB case was not mainly about discrimination, the HRTO can still dismiss your case if the LTB case indirectly dealt with the discrimination issue. For example, if the LTB case awarded you an amount of money for discrimination.


If you start 2 cases at the same time, one of your cases may be put on hold temporarily until the other case is finished. This is known as deferral. For example, if you start a case in civil court and an at the Human Rights Tribunal at the same time.

The purpose of deferral is to make sure your 2 cases about the same situation don't end up with different results.

But deferral is not automatic. The answers to the following questions help decide whether your case is deferred:

  • Is it fair to wait until the other case is over?
  • Will anyone be harmed if one case is put on hold?
  • Is there a reason a decision should be made quickly?
  • Are the possible remedies or results in each case different or similar?
  • Are the 2 cases about identical issues or related issues?
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