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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 03-16-2007, 10:12 PM
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Default Lawyer calls for judicial inquiry into disfunctional family court system!

Came across this article at Canada Court Watch

Quote:
(March 2, 2007) - A long standing member of the Law Society of Upper Canada contacted Court Watch recently and stated that there is an urgent need for a full judicial and/or Parliamentary inquiry into what this experienced Law Society member believes is corruption and incompetence within the family court system in Ontario. This lawyer says that the current family court system is destroying children and families and bleeding them dry of their financial resources. This unnamed source has offered Court Watch the opportunity to review documents and other evidence to support this whistle-blower's allegations about the system and will go on the public record soon about his allegations. This lawyer has said, that in the name of justice, the truth about the family court system in Ontario must be made known to the people of Ontario and that the family court system must be cleaned up from top to bottom as it is bringing scorn and disrespect to the entire legal profession and to those remaining lawyers in other sectors of the law who still believe that it is their duty to stand up to vigorously defend the principles of truth and justice. The videotaped interview with this lawyer will be included as part of a shocking and chilling video documentary on the state of Canada's family justice system which will be available to the students and members of the public later this year.
http://www.canadacourtwatch.com/#Rec..._links_below)_


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Old 03-18-2007, 10:32 AM
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LV

How can we find out more about this, as our case would be a prime example of how the family law system has caused not only emotional termoil and financial ruin, but has destroyed an otherwise perfect relationship between child and estranged parent.

Let me give you a bit of back ground.

My now husband separated in May of 1997, in June of 1997 the EX without noticed filed and received an exparte order limiting access to the city of Ottawa under strict supervision. The EX requested, via court, anger management as she felt he was a physical danger to the child. He did this and it unequivocally proved he was in no way a threat and was indeed a great father and care giver. The order did not provide any structure for regular access; as a result there was limited and no regular access. After several unsuccessful attempts at settling monthly access he sought an order, which clearly defined monthly access, and visitation was consistent for more than 4 years, but not without struggles. She then went back to court claiming he lost his licence due to alcohol consumption, no true but he had to go to court to prove it. IN this hearing the court ordered an assessment to verify there was no PAS happening. The father complied the mother refused to participate. Of course it proved the father was found fit and of no threat. The order did not include the summer months or Christmas break etc but allowed unsupervised access in our home. After several unsuccessful attempts at arranging Christmas he sought an order for Christmas 2001 and the ensuing March break 2002. Again, this order left summer and all extended access open. As in the past when left open to the mother, access for the summer was limited or non-existent, no amount of effort on his part whether passive or otherwise seemed to make a difference. If final decision was left open, or “for the parties to agree upon” and if she and “she alone” felt it was not in the child’s best interest it simply did NOT happen. If the EX was not happy with the final terms surrounding access he only had court ordered access. In 2004 she denied access and he went to court for contempt, she was found to have gone against a clear court order but nothing changed, nothing happened to the mother. In 2005 the same thing happened he went back again for contempt and the same findings of going against an order happened but she was not punished. Instead an assessment was again ordered as we also claimed PAS. The assessment took over a year, and although the judge clearly stated monthly visitation was to resume it never did, as the judge included a Claus “I hope the father will not force the child”. So this basically left the decision of access up to the feelings of a minor child and clearly awarded the final decision to the mother. Which resulted in NO physical contact, NO reinstatement of the court ordered access, NO telephone contact, & very limited email contact. Additionally she relocated so far away that even if monthly access were reinstated, it would be physically and financially impossible. The Ex strongly maintains she is only acting in the best interests of the child, and insists that the recommendations of the assessing psychologist are the only option she will consider. Is it the best interest of the child to completely cut off contact? Is it the best interests to allow a young child to make adult decisions that ultimately affected and continues to affect her future and present emotional state? We believe had there been an order put into place for all access in conjunction with the order of August 2001 the child would not be in the emotional tug of war she is presently in. Nor would there be any need what so ever to further subject her to the poking and prodding of medical professionals giving the child the implication that there is something wrong with her, that she did something wrong. Since there has never been a clearly defined access order, the child has had to carry the burden of our mutual inability to make any final decisions regarding her care and best interests. We begged the court to make a clear and defined final access order in light of this. When we started the Settlement Conference the judge refused to hear anything surrounding the history or proof of the parties’ claims. She only wanted to hear how the father was going to go about attending treatment and how he planed on attending and arranging supervised visitation once again. The judge came to court that day with her own opinions, she clearly asked my husband, “What do you think is going to happen here?” He said something to the effect, “I Believe I will not have any access or at the least only strict supervised access with untold financial strain on my present family and untold amounts of psychological assessments”. The judge chuckled and said that not even her husband could read her mind that well.

Sorry that was so long, it's only but a very, very limited glimps into the BS we have had to disprove and deal with and continue to deal with. We'd love nothing better but than to be an example of how the family court system has failed and continues to mistreat non-custodial parents.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:21 AM
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Hi FL,

I posted the article with link as found at the Canadian Court Watch site. I visit that site frequently as it reports updated events that seem to be occurring in Family Law and in particular Ontario. Significant "victims" of the system posted at that site. Some of the CAS posts are absolutely horrid.

In regards to your situation, It really is unfortunate that this has occurred.

Quote:
When we started the Settlement Conference the judge refused to hear anything surrounding the history or proof of the parties’ claims. She only wanted to hear how the father was going to go about attending treatment and how he planed on attending and arranging supervised visitation once again. The judge came to court that day with her own opinions, she clearly asked my husband, “What do you think is going to happen here?” He said something to the effect, “I Believe I will not have any access or at the least only strict supervised access with untold financial strain on my present family and untold amounts of psychological assessments”. The judge chuckled and said that not even her husband could read her mind that well.
I'm not clear why the father has to attend treatment. Supervised access is often used to reintroduce a child into the life of the parent after a hiatus of no contact. Has the matter been scheduled for trial?


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Old 03-19-2007, 06:56 AM
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We are not clear why he has to attend treatment either as the last assessment which took over a year clearly proved he was in no why a threat, nor was he guilty of any of the allegations made by the ex. But the ex did request that the court impose some amount of therapy and or counselling so that the child would feel more comfortable re-establishing a relationship. Personally I think it’s another ploy by the ex to drain us both financially and emotionally. Like I said, we were blown away by the judge’s behaviour and subsequent actions that day. The mother has, over the years, tried every avenue for having the father out of the life of the child, and has been over heard saying same. "ANYTHING" that keeps him from the daughter, "WILL" be employed. You can appreciate how hard it is to constantly be ordered to take this test and that test, over and over again “just to be save, and “in the best interests of the child”. After having attended countless counselling sessions, and assessments, anger management, etc, etc all because the Mother "feels this" or "Feels" that. He is literally numb to this whole process and he and I both feel more counselling is ridiculous as there are no grounds for it. I understand the history for supervised access after a period of no access, but the child is now 11 almost twelve, and has been appointed her own lawyer, but we still stick by the PAS. How can a child so full of laughter and life while visiting with us, suddenly go home and do and say the things the mother alleges?? I personally believe the child would go home and talk about the fun she had, and how much she liked me and my kids, and the mother reacted negatively, and the child quickly learned that she “needed” to say negative things to get her mother’s and grandparent’s approval and attention. The grand parents have been primary in her care and upbringing, and have on numerous occasions said the father is no good and that they hate him and he should just disappear and leave both the child and their daughter alone so they can go on with their life. Our lawyer was approached by one of her many lawyers asking that he forfeit his parental rights so the second husband could adopt the child but of course they insisted his financial obligation would not end.
The ex is on husband number three child number three, any body see a pattern?

We do not have a trial date; the judge implied she would not advise that route, but that she would be available for a telephone conference to hear his plans on counselling and how he was going to go about supervised access. Like I said, shocking behaviour coming from a judge. Our case is very, very unique, and even the judge has said that. But that didn’t change her appalling behaviour or the fact the courts have been blind to the mother’s antics at the child’s expense. That’s why I think we should be apart of this lawyers attempt to uncover the Family Law BS
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:07 PM
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FL_Needs_To_Change,

as you mentioned,

Quote:
We do not have a trial date; the judge implied she would not advise that route, but that she would be available for a telephone conference to hear his plans on counselling and how he was going to go about supervised access. Like I said, shocking behaviour coming from a judge. Our case is very, very unique, and even the judge has said that. But that didn’t change her appalling behaviour or the fact the courts have been blind to the mother’s antics at the child’s expense. That’s why I think we should be apart of this lawyers attempt to uncover the Family Law BS
There is something not right with this.

I think the first thing you have to do is to receive a copy of the judges endorsement page of this held case conference which is located in the continuing record to find out exactly what was endorsed by this Judge. Once obtained, it should specify that you have to seek leave of the court to file a motion or something to that effect. If it is silent, then I believe you could bring forth a motion for interim relief.

I am not clear why a court would make ambiguous conditions or orders before you could proceed in the case. It is everyones right to Justice.


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Old 03-20-2007, 08:07 AM
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LV, My knowledge of legal terminology is not as profound as yours, please explain, “seek leave of the court to file a motion or something to that effect. If it is silent, then I believe you could bring forth a motion for interim relief.”

Leave of the court? Relief?

Sorry for sounding illiterate.

It didn’t occur to me to get a copy of the recommendations of the judge, as I was trying to clear my head on what had happened. The decision is not so ambiguous per say; it is the way things seem to play out with us in court.

We sought legal advice, paid a handsome amount for an opinion letter outlining the legal process necessary depending on which avenue we were going to take. We made our choice only after having all the questions answered and inquiring on how to accomplish our choice. Yes we self represented and I know you’ll say that wasn’t wise. We have done better self represented than not. Lawyers, no offence to any in the forum, but none that we have retained have done anything more than line their pockets. We got no where in 7 years with a lawyer. Once we went in alone we got monthly unsupervised access, outside the city in our home town etc. It’s just this BS with the ex insisting on psychologist assessments and counselling and such and then not participating and getting away with it. Then once the “court ordered” assessment is complete the court completely disregards it and insists more counselling take place and a return to supervised visitation. Had the judge bothered to read the doctor’s assessment report she would have seen that NOT a one of the allegations of the ex are true, but the complete opposite. AND that the child did not say the things she did (which by the way were exactly what the mother was saying) because of something we said or did but rather based on feelings she may have acquired from the mothers behaviour and reactions to the father. And that the child had an unusually acute bond to the mother only seen in children where the estranged parent is not present nor has been present for quite some time. If that doesn’t scream PAS I don’t know what does.

I will look into getting the judge's recommendations, and take it from there.
Thanks LV
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:13 AM
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FL,

Quote:
LV, My knowledge of legal terminology is not as profound as yours, please explain, “seek leave of the court to file a motion or something to that effect. If it is silent, then I believe you could bring forth a motion for interim relief.”

Leave of the court? Relief?
Basically all I meant by this was the presiding Judge should of endorsed the continuing record with conditions or orders as a result of the last case conference. To bar an individual from proceeding should have a Judges endorsement or hand written order. Seeking leave of the court is basically seeking the courts permission to carry on the case. If nothing is endorsed in the record and the presiding Judge has remained silent on the record, pretty much means you could bring forth a motion.

To me it absolutely imperative that you receive a copy of the continuing record endorsement page to know exactly where you stand and if any Judicial orders are prevailing.

I do have to point out that any information presented at a case conference attached to case conference briefs such as reports and expert opinion would go rejected by the court. It is best to present such material on a affidavit or have the individual complete their own affidavit at an interim motion as then the said information is sworn!

Generally no significant orders are issued at held case conferences unless on consent of the parties. Conference briefs and attachments don't form part of the continuing record and are to be returned to the parties or disposed of at the end of the case conference. Case conference are mostly for procedural issues and to give the parties an other opportunity to perhaps come to some sort of compromise and settlement of some or all of the issues. The next step is generally further settlement conference and or interim motion to proceed to settle the issues.

I am a big fan of self representation when circumstances override that there is no other choice in the matter due to financial reasons such as not qualifying for legal aid. It doesn't make sense to be steam rolled and treated as a door mat from the other side as all the tools are now available on line. Guides, court forms, case law, family law clinics. There is a significant amount of people that have been down this road before which can offer a suggestion to assist one to proceed.

I am not a lawyer by any means or work in the paralegal field. I am just a father and caring parent who participates in this forum and take the view of " what would I do if it was me in this situation."

lv
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:03 PM
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FL,

speaking of tools,

you can find an online legal dictionary here. Might be useful for future reference.

http://www.legal-dictionary.org/

Leave of court:

Permission from the court to take action that would otherwise not be permissible.

hope this helps

lv
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:49 PM
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Thank you very much LV, I have searched before for a legal terminology dictionary to no avail.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:41 PM
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Just another example of how completely ineffective the whole system is. I could tell you my very long 11 year story, but suffice it to say, orders are useless and judges have no power to enforce them. Settlement conferences force the abused to settle in fear of the accuser and contempt motions are a joke. I think we should start a group that forces the legal system to make a better system - if a party is clearly alienating the children from the other parent ( its called hostile aggressive parenting tactics - look it up online) they should be fined heavily. These poor children grow up with so much baggage that we cannot protect them from. In fact, my 17 year old is so severely depresssed, he is suicidal and I cannot help him even though I try.
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