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Commencing an Adjudication

What is Adjudication?

For an explanation of what an adjudication is and the adjudication timelines, please refer to the following link: Adjudication Process

How to Refer a Dispute to Adjudication

The individual or organization wishing to refer a dispute to adjudication (the “Claimant”) must complete a Notice of Adjudication and provide the Notice to ODACC and to the individual or organization from whom money is alleged to be owing (the “Respondent”).

The steps to start an adjudication are outlined below.

Step 1: Assess if the Dispute can be Referred to Adjudication

The Construction Act lists the types of construction disputes that can be the subject matter of an adjudication. Please consult the headings below, Parties to Contracts or to Subcontracts and Labour and Material Payment Bonds to determine if your dispute can be referred to adjudication.

Parties to Contracts or to Subcontracts

Pursuant to s. 13.5 of the Construction Act, a Party to a contract or to a subcontract may start an adjudication. Section 13.5 of the Construction Act states:

13.5 (1) Subject to subsection (3), a party to a contract may refer to adjudication a dispute with the other party to the contract respecting any of the following matters:

      1. The valuation of services or materials provided under the contract.
      2. Payment under the contract, including in respect of a change order, whether approved or not, or a proposed change order.
      3. Disputes that are the subject of a notice of non-payment under Part I.1.
      4. Amounts retained under section 12 (set-off by trustee) or under subsection 17 (3) (lien set-off).
      5. Payment of a holdback under section 26.1 or 26.2.
      6. Non-payment of holdback under section 27.1.
      7. Any other matter that the parties to the adjudication agree to, or that may be prescribed.

Subcontract

(2) Subject to subsection (3), a party to a subcontract may refer to adjudication a dispute with the other party to the subcontract respecting any of the matters referred to in subsection (1), with necessary modifications.

Expiry of adjudication period

(3) An adjudication may not be commenced if the notice of adjudication is given after the date the contract or subcontract is completed, unless the parties to the adjudication agree otherwise.

Table of Contents

Multiple matters

(4) An adjudication may only address a single matter, unless the parties to the adjudication and the adjudicator agree otherwise.

Application despite other proceeding

(5) A party may refer a matter to adjudication under this Part even if the matter is the subject of a court action or of an arbitration under the Arbitration Act, 1991, unless the action or arbitration has been finally determined.

Labour and Material Payment Bonds

A person to whom payment is guaranteed under a labour and material payment bond may start an adjudication pursuant to s. 25 of Ontario Regulation 306/18. Section 25.(1) of Ontario Regulation 306/18 states:

25. (1) A person to whom payment is guaranteed under a labour and material payment bond required under subsection 85.1 (4) of the Act may refer to adjudication under Part II.1 of the Act any dispute with the principal and the surety in relation to the payment guaranteed under the bond.

A Claimant wishing to commence an adjudication against a principal and the surety, pursuant to s. 25.(1) of Ontario Regulation 306/18, must commence two separate adjudications and then consolidate the two adjudications. For instructions on how to consolidate adjudications, please visit the following link: Consolidations.

FAQ: Will ODACC decide whether a case may properly be referred to adjudication?

No. ODACC will not administratively decide whether a case may properly be referred to adjudication.  A Claimant may commence an adjudication, and, as part of the adjudication process, request that the Adjudicator determine whether ODACC has jurisdiction to decide the issue. A Respondent may also ask an Adjudicator to decide whether ODACC has jurisdiction to decide the issue.

FAQ: I entered into a contract before October 1, 2019. Can my dispute be adjudicated?

For assistance determining what law applies to a construction project, please consult a construction lawyer.  Information on transition rules is available at: Transition Rules.

Step 2: Create an Account on ODACC’s Custom System

To start an adjudication and create a Notice of Adjudication, the Claimant must create an account on ODACC’s Custom System. A description of ODACC’s Custom System and the process for creating an account are provided at the following link: ODACC’s Custom System

Note: Throughout ODACC’s website, references to steps that can be taken by a Claimant or a Respondent on ODACC’s Custom System (e.g., commencing an adjudication or selecting an Adjudicator) may also be taken by Representatives of Claimants or Respondents.

Step 3: Log in to ODACC’s Custom System

To log in to ODACC’s Custom System, a user must click on the blue “ODACC Custom System Login” button located on the top right of ODACC’s website, or they may visit the following link: https://app.odacc.ca/en-CA/Identity/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2F. To log in, the user must use the email address and password entered when he or she created the account.

Step 4: Create a Notice of Adjudication

In order to create a Notice of Adjudication, a Claimant must click on the “+ New Case” button, found on the home page of ODACC’s Custom System. A screen will then appear that will prompt the Claimant to fill in the information required to create a Notice of Adjudication. Please refer to the following PDF for the information required to create a Notice of Adjudication: Notice of Adjudication Form. Once all of the information in the Notice of Adjudication has been filled in, the Claimant must press the “Create Case” button to start the adjudication process.

FAQ: Can I save a Notice of Adjudication and return to ODACC’s Custom System later to complete it?

No. ODACC’s Custom System will not allow users to save a Notice of Adjudication, log out of the system and resume completing it at a different time.

FAQ: Can an adjudication be commenced with ODACC, but without using ODACC’s Custom System?

Yes. If the Claimant does not wish to use ODACC’s Custom System to refer a dispute to adjudication, the Notice of Adjudication can be printed, filled in manually, and filed with ODACC by sending it to ODACC via email at support@odacc.ca or via fax 416-362-8825. A Notice of Adjudication form is accessible at the following link: Notice of Adjudication.

ODACC will work with a Claimant if he or she requires assistance. Please contact ODACC at support@odacc.ca for more information or for assistance in filling in the Notice of Adjudication.

FAQ: What happens if the Claimant entered the wrong email address for the Respondent, and the Respondent does not receive the email with the Notice of Adjudication?

If the wrong email address is entered for the Respondent, and the email bounces, ODACC will notify the Claimant that the email bounced. If the email sent to the Respondent does not bounce, but the Claimant knows that the Respondent has a different email address than the one entered, the Claimant will be able to re-send the Notice of Adjudication to the Respondent, through the Forms tab on ODACC’s Custom System.

What Happens After the Notice of Adjudication is Created?

Confirmation Message

After a Claimant completes the Notice of Adjudication and presses the “Create Case” button, a confirmation message will appear on the Claimant’s screen stating that the Notice of Adjudication was successfully created.

An Email Notification is Sent to the Respondent

After a Claimant completes the Notice of Adjudication, ODACC will send an email to the Respondent that states:

A Claimant has filed a Notice of Adjudication with Ontario Dispute Adjudication for Construction Contracts (“ODACC”) naming you (or your client, if you are a Representative) as the Respondent.  IF YOU DO NOT FILE A RESPONSE with ODACC the adjudication may proceed without you and a Determination may be obtained against you. Information about ODACC and the adjudication process is available at the following link: www.odacc.ca.

To view and respond to the Notice of Adjudication, you must log in to ODACC’s Custom System. Please click on the link below that applies to you.

You do not have an account and are not a Representative

If you do not have an account on ODACC’s Custom System, please create an account by clicking on the following link: Create an Account. You will be able to view and respond to the Notice of Adjudication in ODACC’s Custom System after your account is confirmed.

You do not have an account and are a Representative

If you are a Representative and do not have an account on ODACC’s Custom System, please create an account by clicking on the following link: Create an Account. You will be able to view and respond to the Notice of Adjudication in ODACC’s Custom System after your account is confirmed.

 

You already have an account

If you already have an account on ODACC’s Custom System, please click on the following link to log in to ODACC’s Custom System to view and respond to the Notice of Adjudication:  View Notice of Adjudication.

 

If you require technical support, please contact us at support@odacc.ca.

FAQ: How can a Claimant know that the Respondent has seen the Notice of Adjudication?

When the Claimant logs in to ODACC’s Custom System, the case “Milestones” will display recent activity for the adjudication. After the Respondent views the Notice of Adjudication, the Claimant will see the following milestone: “Notice of Adjudication Received by Respondent (or Respondent’s Representative).”

ODACC Receives the Notice of Adjudication

ODACC’s Custom System will send the Notice of Adjudication to ODACC in electronic format (as required by s. 16 of Ontario Regulation 306/18).

FAQ: When will ODACC be deemed to have received a Notice of Adjudication?

Where a Notice of Adjudication is created between midnight and 3:59 pm (EST) on a business day, ODACC will be deemed to have received the Notice of Adjudication on that day. Where the Notice of Adjudication is created between 4:00 p.m. and midnight (EST) or on a weekend or statutory holiday, it will be deemed to have been received by ODACC on the following business day.

FAQ: What constitutes legal “service” of the Notice of Adjudication under the Construction Act?

For the answer to this question and other legal questions, please consult a construction lawyer who can advise you, based on your situation.  

Response to Notice of Adjudication

Once a Respondent completes and submits a Response to Notice of Adjudication to the Notice of Adjudication through ODACC’s Custom System, the Claimant will receive an email from communications@odacc.ca stating that there is an update in ODACC’s Custom System. The Claimant can then log in to ODACC’s Custom System to view the Response to Notice of Adjudication. To view the Respondent’s Response to Notice of Adjudication, a Claimant should:

  • Log in to ODACC’s Custom System
  • Click on “My Cases”;
  • Click on the case name, which is a link to the case dashboard;
  • Click on “Forms” in the menu bar on the left side of the screen; and
  • Click on the button “Download Response to Notice of Adjudication” which will open a PDF of the Response to Notice of Adjudication. For a sample Response to Notice of Adjudication form, please visit the following link: Response to Notice of Adjudication.

FAQ: What happens if a Respondent does not submit a Response to Notice of Adjudication?

If a Respondent does not submit a Response to Notice of Adjudication, the Claimant may contact ODACC at support@odacc.ca to request that the adjudication proceed without the Respondent’s participation.

Selecting an Adjudicator

After the Respondent views the Notice of Adjudication, the next step in the adjudication process is to select an Adjudicator. Please see the following link for instructions on how to select an Adjudicator: Selecting an Adjudicator

Inviting Additional Individuals to the Custom System

Inviting Representatives

If the Claimant has a Representative when the Notice of Adjudication is created, the Claimant may include the Representative’s contact information in the Notice of Adjudication. ODACC’s Custom System will email the Representative to invite him or her to create an account on ODACC’s Custom System once the Notice of Adjudication is created. 

If the Representative is retained after the Notice of Adjudication is created, the Claimant may email ODACC at support@odacc.ca to ask that the Representative be invited to create an account. ODACC will send the Representative a case invitation through ODACC’s Custom System. After the Representative creates an account, the Representative will have access to the information and documents filed in the adjudication.

Inviting Additional Individuals

The Claimant may give other individuals (i.e. assistants, contract managers, or project managers) access to the documents filed on ODACC’s Custom System (if granting such access does not breach the Claimant’s confidentiality obligations. After the Notice of Adjudication is created, the Claimant may email ODACC at support@odacc.ca to ask that an individual be granted access. ODACC will send that individual a case invitation to ODACC’s Custom System. After that individual creates an account, he or she will have access to the information and documents filed in the adjudication.

Need Support?

Contact us at authority@odacc.ca

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