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  • Notice of Approaching Dismissal ? Need help

    I am still separated after two years from my ex husband. There has been no settlement of issues, I do not receive any child/spousal from ex and our joint business is being run(absolutely no income-just expenses due to ex's slander of clients) solely by myself. I am beyond broke just to support the business obligations, never mind my outstanding legal bill of 60K. My lawyer dumped me in December as I mentioned to him modest repayment terms after he billed me 40K in the last 6months. I was COMPLETELY unaware that he had billed so many hours-and I have nothing to show for it, lost my home and business location, no spousal, no child support, ex is getting away with serious fraud etc. So, I tried to calmly explain that I was seriously unhappy with the outcome of my case, to which he replied, "...If I was getting money for the bill, I would have been happy to put more effort into your case." I point out that if I knew he was going to make a lousy effort unless he was paid up, I would most certainly have found a way to pay more down on his bill.

    Anyway, my lawyer applied to be removed in mid December and now I am representing myself. But I cannot do this as my situation is too complex and my ex's lawyer would have a field day with me. I do have to point out that my ex's lawyer has not made one call or letter since my ex committed fraud against me. I believe that my ex does not want to stir up the hornets nest with me as he is clearly guilty and knows that I can pursue contempt charges-and make them stick. I just need the money-and a lawyer-to do that.

    I just received a Notice of Approaching Dismissal of motions we both filed in June 2006. There are other outstanding motions that have yet to be heard due to short motion days vs. long motion days-i.e. not enough time to hear all issues.

    I am not sure if it is in my best interests to allow these motions to be dismissed or not?

    I have until the end of the month to do one of three things:

    new trial date
    settlement conference scheduled
    ? some other option

    My dilemma is that I do have a strong case against my ex for marital tort, fruad, misrepresentation of facts, contempt of court etc. and I need legal advice.

    I cannot qualify for legal aid as my family cosigned for the house I am in and I am on the deed. I do have assets but I have SO much debt(over100K) that I simply would only be able to pay out of any settlement I may get after my ex and I settle. I can maybe borrow another 3 or 4 thousand for legal bills but I am so broke.

    Any advice to deal with this Notice of Approaching dismissal so that the motions DO NOT get dismissed until I can find a lawyer in my area that can help me?

    Thanks LV.

  • #2

    you have to continue on with the case. File a motion for interim relief such as child and spousal support and have the court input an income to the individual based on previous years tax returns.

    Support of children is a paramount consideration. At the same time you could also bring forth an order to vary the child's access to one that is occurs in a supervised environment. I believe that the latter is an urgent issue, therefore you could bring forth an emergency motion.

    The court process is stressful and can be frustrating at times. Don't give up. Hang in there. You can represent yourself and I believe the court would be flexible to a degree considering you are trying to obtain support for yourself and your child. The forum offers a wealth of information for self represented litigants. All the required court forms, Family law rules are online. You can do this!



    • #3
      I agree with what LV said.

      It sounds like you're in Ontario? If you're not ready to move your case forward and are looking for a quick and easy way to deal with the Notice of Approaching Dismissal, you can schedule a case conference. To get that process started, you just need to complete a simple one page form and file it with the court:

      You can also use the case conference as an opportunity to get your case on some sort of a schedule. Your case sounds complex enough that you may also want to ask that your case be case managed (not all courts do this). This would assign one judge to deal with all the procedural matters in your case so that it doesn't stall every time there's a dispute between the parties.

      As for representing yourself, I think it is very possible - you just need to put in the time to learn things (I know, you're probably short of time with everything going on). However, your case sounds complex enough that it may make sense to make arrangements with a lawyer just to be able to consult with them from time to time - and pay for the consultation at the time you attend. It's also good to have contact with a lawyer in this way so that if there's an emergency you can turn to someone quickly for help.
      Ottawa Divorce


      • #4
        Ack! I accidentally deleted my long post.

        Thanks LV and Jeff.

        I am in Southern Ontario.

        I have a major phobia of speaking in public. I suffer from moderate to severe anxiety at the thought of representing myself. Not an option I am afraid.

        I had a case conference in Feb 2005 and the only thing decided was what bills got paid out of our business account. There's no money now, so that doesn't even matter anymore.

        I have made about 5 offers to settle to my ex but he will not negotiate. He has basically won in that he has fraudulently obtained our assets and profited from his contempt of court. There is absolutely no motivation for him to settle issues. He is smug and happy at the resulting situation with the two of us. I was advised by my lawyer not to proceed with a contempt motion against him as it was costly, but he has been in contempt on a large scale since that advice.

        Can I have another case conference or is my only option a settlement conference or trial?


        • #5

          You could schedule another case conference but no significant orders would be made. The intent of a case conference is to get the parties together perhaps come to settlement and for the court to issue procedural orders such as how the case may proceed.

          At any time you could bring forth a motion to resolve some of the issues in the interim.



          • #6
            Hi LV

            I wondered if you could direct me to the form I need to filll out to schedule another case conference? Do I just take it to the courts and they file it and send a copy to the other side? Does it need to be served or just mailed to the other side?

            I have until Friday to file this form to postpone the approaching dismissal of our pending motions etc.

            Do I need to set a date for a case conference on this form or does that come later?

            I think I will do this one by myself, will have to see about a lawyer in the near future as my ex is up to something and it really needs to be addressed as well.


            • #7

              as you mentioned

              I wondered if you could direct me to the form I need to filll out to schedule another case conference?
              All the court forms are found here


              You will need Form 17 - Case Conference Notice.

              The forms are in pdf and word doc format. If you don't have ms word you can download open office here which is compatible with word docs so that you can use same to process the forms. A free open office download can be found here


              Once you have form 17 completed, leave the date and time of the conference blank. Proceed to the court house and request a date for a case conference with the registrar. The Registrar will enter a date and time on your completed form 17 ( Notice of Case Conference) and will apply the court seal to same.

              Once this is done, complete form 17A case conference. Write a brief paragraph on each outstanding issue. Remember that the Judge will not issue significant orders at the case conference, but it is a good time for procedural issues, such as obtaining disclosure, financial statements etc. The Judge may give an opinion. This is the time to request same.

              Once the case conference brief is completed, serve it along with a completed form 13 or form 13.1 financial statement and the notice of case conference on the other party or their lawyer. Once service of the documents has been completed, file the documents right away with the registrar along with a completed affidavit of service Form 6b listing the documents that were served. The last document you will require is form 14c which is to be given to the Registrar to confirm the conference is going ahead with all the issues.

              The case conference notice, case conference brief and financial statement must be SERVED and filed within 7 days of the held case conference.

              see this guide for case conferences


              and for other




              • #8
                Thanks for the advice LV.

                I do not think I have time to do a sufficient job at filing a case conference brief etc. etc. in time for the dismissal on Friday. I called the court house to see if there were any other options for me to postpone the dismissal. It is a very small town so they were kind to help me. The clerk told me that if I just wanted to postpone the dismissal to give me time to find legal counsel then I should fill out 3 forms-14b Motion form, 14a Affidavit General, and 25 Order General.

                She said I could file the Motion 14b form w/o notice to the other side. I can get someone to swear the affidavit general at the courthouse as well.

                She saidto bring in 3 copies of the 25 Order General which basically will say the same thing as the Affidavit which would be to ask to extend the timeline in order to obtain new legal counsel or something which she suggested to be 6 months.

                She said they require no court appearances, just going to the courthouse to file these documents.

                I am so lost with the procedures! She kindly told me about a free legal clinic tomorrow in a neighbouring town and I think I will fill out what I can tonight and bring it with me there tomorrow.

                At least it will give me time to get my documents together.

                Also, I have an outstanding account with my lawyer(he didn't want to continue on with me at my suggested payment arrangement) and I wondered if I am still legally able to get my file from him even though I owe him money(ALOT!).

                There are many documents that I have not been privy to like my ex's examination and production of documents. These are crucial to me.

                What do you think about my above suggestion for now?


                • #9

                  Just a suggestion,

                  If you need any copies of filed documents ie documents submitted to the court they will be at the courthouse under your file number. You can ask to see them and get useful info from them at any time. As to the other documents in your lawyers possession, he would probably discuss that with his partners as to releasing the documents, invariably the answer would probably be no. I experienced the same thing and floundered initially but my lawyer initially gave me a copy of everything. Then the money ran out. He did not release my file to me. So I got all the information from the courthouse and copies of forms I already had.



                  • #10

                    Yes I see you have been in the same boat as me!

                    I should change my name to MsBroke. First name "Beyond"!

                    I currently owe my lawyer 55K. I do not have child support, no custody or access decided, I lost my business/home due to fraud on my ex's part throughout the proceedings, I am stuck paying all business expenses that are jointly owed by my ex and I even though I have nowhere enough money.

                    My total legal bills are over 100K in the last two years. I have nothing. I am so devastated at the legal system, especially my lawyer who did nothing for me that I asked. He racked up bills despite me informing him I did not want him to respond to certain individuals who I am dealing with civilly(they are clients who won't pay significant amounts owing to my ex and I's jointly owned business). My family law lawyer has racked up bills for our business partnership issues and I am left holding the bag. I told him I would not authorize his hours working on those certain issues further and he told me if they kept contacting him, he would be forced to bill me for the time it took to read the material and respond back to them. My ex gave all of our clients that were his buddies my family law lawyers name in order to rack up my bills. He also gave them my unlisted phone number at home so until I changed my numberI got all sorts of strange phone calls. Real classy guy. Yet he hasn't paid me a rusty nickel towards me maintaining our joint assets(livestock) or our own son for the last two years for crying out loud!

                    It is very sad.

                    The only consolation is that it will take my lawyer more than five years to see his bill paid back at my payment arrangements(1000.00/month) and if he had just done his job, my settlement would have paid him back ALOT faster! Oh well. C'est la vie!


                    • #11
                      Just another suggestion.... if anyone else has anything to suggest please do!!!


                      If you want a function done by a lawyer you don't necessarily have to retain one. Just pay the lawyer to go on your behalf on an as need basis. Get a fee list from a reputable firm and pay as you go and file all paperwork and save all bills. My brother did this, he hired a lawyer just to represent him at ahearing no retainer, a paralegal anything as long as you notify the court of the change. I believe this may be your best bet on the cheap. I'm not suggesting that you don't pay your last lawyer but work out a more agreaable pay schedule so you can continue to fight for yourself.

                      Good Luck,


                      • #12
                        I spent almost the entire day at the courthouse yesterday for a free legal information clinic. The clerks at the courthouse directed me there due to my many questions. The lawyer was too busy to help me fill out the forms and now I am stuck.

                        I did find out that my file is at one courthouse in a different municipality than it was transferred to. There was a lot of confusion about that.

                        I don't recall transferring the file to this other town but I guess my lawyer must have mentioned it to me. There was a consent order and no one attended and this was decided. Go figure. Anyway, it has been transferred to a much smaller town and they only have so many motion days. I have until the 2nd of February, that is the only motion date available. But FIRST I think I have to call my ex's lawyer directly and ask if he would agree on consent to extend the timelines. Apparently, then all I have to do is bring 3 copies of 25 Order General filled out to the Court house.

                        I am at a loss of the wording to extend the timelines.
                        I have put the following and will head out to courthouse to see if this is correct.

                        THE COURT ORDERS THAT:

                        1. On consent, the timelines be extended to deal with outstanding issues.

                        I am having such anxiety of calling the lawyer I have to ask a family member to.

                        We will see what happens.


                        • #13
                          Actually I just called the lawyer and he is on holiday until after the last possible motion day. The assistant is asking another lawyer what to do and I will hear by lunch I hope.

                          LV- I have one other question, I assumed my ex's last name when we married-i.e.- changed my driver licence, bank account names, with Revenue canada etc.

                          I was told by the clerks at the courthouse that my clearance certificate has come back from Ottawa(whatever this means).

                          I recently changed my bank accounts, my drivers licence back to my maiden name with just showing my birth certificate. Is my legal name for these court proceedings my MARRIED name or my MAIDEN name?

                          I am trying to fill out these forms to file this motion and I am at a loss. I already am filling out the motions and printing them out in every possible configuration so I am not sent away and lose time to go back and reprint.


                          • #14
                            name quandry

                            I understand where you are coming from with the name issue -

                            I changed my name back to my maiden name after the seperation agreement was signed (in my married name), but before we filed for divorce ...

                            I asked at the Family Law Clinic, and they advised me to sign whatever name I am legally using now - so I did -

                            I just checked my divorce judgement, and it is in my maiden name.

                            I would say that you should file in your maiden name, it's your name now, and it was when you got married as well.


                            • #15

                              I echo what workingthruit has mentioned. Use your current legal name for the documents and you can also address the issue of the name change back yo your maiden name in an affidavit.



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