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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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Old 09-16-2015, 12:47 AM
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Default Nightmare day in court - self rep'd

Dropped off Case Conf. Brief 9 days before c.c. court date to her lawyer and court house.
Day of court:
Judge walks in, we all stand, he looks at me and his first words are "How can you walk into my court room unprepared with no Case Con Brief submitted and waste my time here today?! I do not look lightly on those who are unprepared and expect me to know what this case is about. Can you briefly tell me what you are here for?"
I state that I did so. He asks opposing lawyer if she has it from me and she says yes. He states he did not get mine at all so it was not done. I offer him my copy and he states he wants HIS copy in his file.
I state the change in job and shift work, change in income, change in busing, and change in daycare. He meanwhile is looking at his watch, the ceiling, his cuffs,... when I am finished he says "Is that it?".
I had months previously submitted page after page of facts supporting all of my submissions but he was not interested in looking at them.
I say yes. Her lawyer stands up and says, they do not want any changes to parenting plan and any changes I have stated to not affect the children.
He looks at me and asks if I have anything else. I state that all activities after school are paid for by me and done through me only. That the children are being left for 14 hour days with various child care providers while in her care instead of giving me right of refusal as stated in our p.p. ect..
He again reminds me that I am unprepared and again says "Is that it?"
He states he see's no material change and and orders me to pay their costs and to go to mediation.
Afterward I go to the front desk inquiring where the brief got to. They had no idea but did already know how badly court went and felt bad for me.
They went to the judges chambers and brought out the large file,, in it was my brief I had handed in 9 days prior, the judge just did not see it.
WOW!!!! I was guilty before he even came out of his chambers only to find the file was in there all along.
I am nothing more than disappointed, angry and exhausted fighting this system.
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lets_be_fair View Post
Dropped off Case Conf. Brief 9 days before c.c. court date to her lawyer and court house.
Day of court:
Judge walks in, we all stand, he looks at me and his first words are "How can you walk into my court room unprepared with no Case Con Brief submitted and waste my time here today?! I do not look lightly on those who are unprepared and expect me to know what this case is about. Can you briefly tell me what you are here for?"
I state that I did so. He asks opposing lawyer if she has it from me and she says yes. He states he did not get mine at all so it was not done. I offer him my copy and he states he wants HIS copy in his file.
I state the change in job and shift work, change in income, change in busing, and change in daycare. He meanwhile is looking at his watch, the ceiling, his cuffs,... when I am finished he says "Is that it?".
I had months previously submitted page after page of facts supporting all of my submissions but he was not interested in looking at them.
I say yes. Her lawyer stands up and says, they do not want any changes to parenting plan and any changes I have stated to not affect the children.
He looks at me and asks if I have anything else. I state that all activities after school are paid for by me and done through me only. That the children are being left for 14 hour days with various child care providers while in her care instead of giving me right of refusal as stated in our p.p. ect..
He again reminds me that I am unprepared and again says "Is that it?"
He states he see's no material change and and orders me to pay their costs and to go to mediation.
Afterward I go to the front desk inquiring where the brief got to. They had no idea but did already know how badly court went and felt bad for me.
They went to the judges chambers and brought out the large file,, in it was my brief I had handed in 9 days prior, the judge just did not see it.
WOW!!!! I was guilty before he even came out of his chambers only to find the file was in there all along.
I am nothing more than disappointed, angry and exhausted fighting this system.
Unbelievable! It doesn't surprise me of the incompetence and ignorance that goes on daily in our kangaroo court system. I feel horrible just reading your post. I sit here and shake my head because I just posted days ago about self representing myself to end SS. I don't get it. It seems that a high percentage of males (fathers) get the shaft. In most cases men are stigmatized as soon as you walk into family court. WTF! I hope it works out for you.
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:57 AM
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This saddens me. Court clerks knew my name and file # as soon as they saw me. I checked the CR all the time. Always remember to check tabs/page/volume #'s a day before court. What stops OP from coming to look at the file and switching some stuff around last minute (I used to take y file to the back of the room and study it .. I could have easily messed with it .. although I would never.

Also .. court clerks might make a mistake inserting it.

Either way .. judge didnt sound like he was having a good day .. but certainly should have given a self-repper as yourself a bit of a break.
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:49 AM
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My deepest sympathies. I have my first appearance as a self-rep next week (change CS as both kids are off to Uni), and while I know my case is "solid"... it's this system bias that causes me to lose sleep.

Question - does the judge really have that much power at a "Case Conference"? I thought judge might say some things, but no "orders" could be made.. especially on more complex issues...
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:53 AM
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Consider appealing the cost award?

Make sure that you get the names of the courthouse house staff who could attest to the fact that the brief was, in fact, in the file.

When you file something in the court is it not date/stamped with an official court seal?

Outrageous.

Last edited by arabian; 09-16-2015 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:10 AM
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I would appeal. It would be in their files the day you filed it so it should be easy to prove that it was there and therefore the award was an error.

Good luck I hate days like that.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:36 AM
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Sorry to hear about how unfairly it went in court. Unfortunately, it was my experience as well (and I'm female btw). The judge did not listen to anything my ex had to say - his lawyer (3 rd one) gave his speech while judge was barely awake .... It felt like a waste of everyone's time, the judge had made his mind up before appearing in court. Self rep or lawyer'd up makes little difference IMO.

If your are able to settle through mediation, you'll probably do better. Avoid a trial at all costs.
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dadx5 View Post
I would appeal. It would be in their files the day you filed it so it should be easy to prove that it was there and therefore the award was an error.

Good luck I hate days like that.
Yes I would as well.
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:00 PM
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I would first try a procedural motion whereby you ask for a "retraction"/"revision" - that is the quebec term but there is an Ontario version whereby you claim there was a "misunderstanding/miscalculation/technicality" and the judgement should be withdrawn.

The technicality here is the judge did not see the case conference brief which was in the file.

Don't ever accuse the judge of bias. NEVER

Audi alteram partem
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Old 09-16-2015, 06:22 PM
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Whatever you do make sure you keep in mind that often there are time-limits for these things.
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