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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2012, 10:51 PM
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Default Changing Court Dates

I have a settlement conference scheduled in 13 days. However I had a last minute surgery on my back/spine yesterday, with 4 to 6 weeks recovery, and I need to reschedule the court date.

I contacted the court trial coordinator last week as soon as I found out about the surgery and they provided 5 available dates in March and said to contact my ex and get consent in writing... then fax in a 14c.

I've sent her 2 emails and a text but haven't heard back.

What do I need to do to protect myself?
Can I/How can I get approval to reschedule the settlement conference if she doesn't reply with consent?
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:10 PM
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I spoke to the trial coordinator today.

If my ex doesn't agree to the change in dates, I have to do a motion and affidavit, get it signed at the court, serve it, and then file it with the court and wait around for the judge to make a decision.

I just did a big surgery, on lots of meds, and in lots of pain. The reason I need to reschedule the settlement conference date is because I can't do all this right now... prepare/serve/file matierals and attend court all day.

I don't understand how this is my only option. If I had important surgery and the doctors say I can't do it.. why can't I just fax that into the court with the 14c to say I won't be able to attend. Obviously she is being unreasonable in not allowing the change in dates... and I dont' have a lawyer or someone to attend court on my behalf...
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by acpickering View Post
I spoke to the trial coordinator today.

If my ex doesn't agree to the change in dates, I have to do a motion and affidavit, get it signed at the court, serve it, and then file it with the court and wait around for the judge to make a decision.

I just did a big surgery, on lots of meds, and in lots of pain. The reason I need to reschedule the settlement conference date is because I can't do all this right now... prepare/serve/file matierals and attend court all day.

I don't understand how this is my only option. If I had important surgery and the doctors say I can't do it.. why can't I just fax that into the court with the 14c to say I won't be able to attend. Obviously she is being unreasonable in not allowing the change in dates... and I dont' have a lawyer or someone to attend court on my behalf...
Was the surgical procedure scheduled or was it the result of an accute emergency?

If it was an emergency and you have evidence to the fact that it wasn't scheduled prior to your knowledge and needed to be done as an emergency for an acute situation you will more than likely get an adjournment. (e.g. the surgery is the result of a car accident)

If you had prior knowledge of the surgical procedure and scheduling prior to the scheduling of the Conference (pre-trial) the judge will reschedule the trial more than likely to the next sitting but, expect to pay costs for your failure to plan properly.

I caution you that surgical scheduling is often done months (if not a year) for spinal repairs in our country. They don't come up "last minute" and "weeks prior to a court hearing" without having major advanced notice. So if you had advanced notice and did not try to move the date well in advance to your current situation you won't win too much sympathy from the court.

On the other hand, if it was an emergency situation and non-scheduled surgery then you have cause to re-schedule.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the information!

I guess it would be considered a little bit of both. This surgery was originally planned ahead of time. After over a year of testing/interviews, I was finally cleared for the surgery.

Our settlement conference was already scheduled for December, when I found out about the surgery. I was given 3 weeks notice for the surgery originally, however it was scheduled in October and would have given me plenty of recovery time in order to prepare for court. I let my ex know about the surgery and she was ok with everything.

However, during the surgery, I had an allergic reaction to something and they had to stop. I was left with wires connected to my spine that had to be cut, and tucked in under the skin in my back and stitched up. They had to wait for my body rash to go away before they would continue.

They wanted to continue it early November but I was still dealing with the complications. I finally cleared up enough for them to finish the surgery on Nov 28. They reconnected the wires in my spine to a stimulator/battery pack that they installed in my stomach.

Although this was originally a scheduled surgery, it was planned with enough time to allow me to still attend court. However, unforeseen circumstances came up... I had a bad reaction to something and they had to stop half way. I was already in on the surgery and I couldn't put it off another month while everything was sticking out my back.

We just completed our disclosure session last week with the children's lawyer who recommended that everything stay as is. She said she didn't have a lawyer... and no papers have been filed yet. If we just move the date, would she have costs that I would have to pay because of this?
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:16 PM
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Thanks for the information!

I guess it would be considered a little bit of both. This surgery was originally planned ahead of time. After over a year of testing/interviews, I was finally cleared for the surgery.

Our settlement conference was already scheduled for December, when I found out about the surgery. I was given 3 weeks notice for the surgery originally, however it was scheduled in October and would have given me plenty of recovery time in order to prepare for court. I let my ex know about the surgery and she was ok with everything.

However, during the surgery, I had an allergic reaction to something and they had to stop. I was left with wires connected to my spine that had to be cut, and tucked in under the skin in my back and stitched up. They had to wait for my body rash to go away before they would continue.

They wanted to continue it early November but I was still dealing with the complications. I finally cleared up enough for them to finish the surgery on Nov 28. They reconnected the wires in my spine to a stimulator/battery pack that they installed in my stomach.

Although this was originally a scheduled surgery, it was planned with enough time to allow me to still attend court. However, unforeseen circumstances came up... I had a bad reaction to something and they had to stop half way. I was already in on the surgery and I couldn't put it off another month while everything was sticking out my back.

We just completed our disclosure session last week with the children's lawyer who recommended that everything stay as is. She said she didn't have a lawyer... and no papers have been filed yet. If we just move the date, would she have costs that I would have to pay because of this?
You hopefully have a letter from the surgeon regarding the complications of the scheduling. If you don't I highly recommend you request one that is written to the court and ONLY addressing the scheduling issues.

For example:

Dear Honourable Court:

I am Name, Last Name, MD and am registered with the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons under CPSO #TheNumber.

Mr. You was reffered to my office on date X, year by Mr. You's family practitioner of medicine Name, LastName, MD CPSO #TheNumber on Date X, Year.

My first clinical encounter with Mr. You was on day, month, year where Mr. You attended at my office located at the-address-goes-here.

Due to the requirements set forth in the Medicine Act and Personal Health Information Act of Ontario I am unable to provide any clinical information and am required to protect under these Acts the confidentiality of Mr. You's health and well being.

I have been granted the consent to disclose the following regarding Mr. You's surgical scheduling:

1. My office first provided Mr. You an original scheduling for surgery set for day, month, year at Hospital X.

2. This scheduling was changed on day, month, year at Hospital X to day, month, year at Hopsital X.

(Each schedule change needs to be outlined.)

3. Mr. You attended at Hospital X for his scheduled surgery but, due to complications the surgery was not completed in full.

4. On day, month, year Mr. You was again scheduled for the completion of his surgery.

As a result of Mr. You's condition as a result of this surgery I humbly apologize to this very honourable court for the impact it has had on Mr. You and the impact it has had on his ability to appear before this honourable court on day, month, year. Mr. You's surgery was not elective and was scheduled and executed in the best interests of Mr. You's health and well being.

Should this court have further questions I can be reached by phone at phone-number.

Yours very truly,
Name, MD (CPSO#theNumber)

This is written in haste... So, it isn't a great letter but, something for you to consider in shaping what you would need from the doctor's office regarding the reason you are asking for the adjournment. You really should get an affidavit from the doctor but, those are a pain to do for such a minor thing.

Again, you should not (and not to this board) be disclosing your personal medical information unless ordered by the court. All you need to give is the factual statement from the doctor that you needed the surgery, the schedule and previous attempts that wouldn't have impacted your appearance and a strong medical opinion that the surgery couldn't and shouldn't have been delayed.

It would be great if the doctor could take the position and honour the court and apologize for the impact to the scheduling but, identify that it was in your best interests to have the surgery. I am of the opinion that the health and well being of a citizen should be an allowable reason for a trial to be rescheduled but, you need a doctor to state that.

If it was elective surgery... Whereby you were not in agonizing pain, threat of life, or unable to function etc... The court won't be too impressed.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:27 PM
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A brief note from the surgeon would suffice. Date of surgery, expected date of recovery, signed. Possibly a sentence that says patient instructed to reschedule upcoming court date.

I don't think you have to give too many details. Surgeons credentials will suffice.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:31 AM
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A brief note from the surgeon would suffice. Date of surgery, expected date of recovery, signed. Possibly a sentence that says patient instructed to reschedule upcoming court date.

I don't think you have to give too many details. Surgeons credentials will suffice.
The letter has to state very clearly that the scheduling was not within your control and necessary at the time it was executed and couldn't be put off to another date.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:12 PM
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I finally heard back from my ex. It's coming up to one year now that we've been separated, and no order for support has ever been made. Also she's making more money than me, however since it comes from Ontario Works, support from first husband, and govn't benefits.. these don't count and she is claiming zero income. She wrote that I should start paying her support and because I'm haven't paid her anything... she will not agree to reschedule our settlement conference.
I asked her again if she could reschedule the conference for me and that I would also book a motion now for January, which would allow me to recover as per dr's orders, and we wouldn't have to wait til March to get an answer from the judge... but she said no.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:18 PM
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My fear now is that if I have to file/serve papers and have a motion now... she will argue that I could have done the same and attend our settlement conference.
I didn't think there would be an issue in rescheduling, so I never prepared all the papers. I can rush to get them done now, heavily medicated and half asleep... but I would have to get the signed at the court, somehow serve her at her secured condo, and file them with the court by tuesday.. in order to have them in in time for Dec 12th's court date..
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:42 PM
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In my honest opinion, the amount of time and effort you have taken to write on this forum is admirable. With that said, you could have likely had your documents prepared in the same amount of time. Just sayin...
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