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-   -   Precedent setting DV case (https://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23994)

Stillbreathing 05-17-2022 11:54 PM

Precedent setting DV case
 
Came across a fascinating case in Brampton Ontario that was in the news.

Ahluwalia vs Ahluwalia 2022/02/28
Court file: FS-16-87188

Paragraph 112:
The judge wrote
“The mother is entitled to $150,000.00 in damages in relation to the family violence she experienced during the marriage”.

I believe the mother was a self rep who brought a tort claim for damages during her divorce proceedings which the justice Mandhane J allowed.

I’m not at my home computer so can’t post a Canlii link to this case. Somebody else might want to post the link.

blinkandimgone 05-18-2022 07:57 AM

Here you go:

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/do...?resultIndex=5

Islandmom 05-18-2022 01:09 PM

Yes. Finally abuse is being looked at by the Family Law courts. This case(though it may still be appealed) helps me greatly.

pinkHouses 05-18-2022 03:25 PM

Here is a bit from the case:
Quote:

The next physical assault occurred on a November 2008 evening in Brampton. After coming home intoxicated, the Father accused the Mother of flirting with their mutual male friend who had been over earlier that day to help fix a computer. After hurling verbal accusations, the Father slapped the Mother, grabbed her by the neck, pulled her hair bun, and strangled her, stating he would “teach her a lesson” and questioning, “Will you do it again? Will you do it again?” The abuse ended when the Mother struggled free and ran to the kitchen, gasping for air and in need of water. The Father eventually passed out.
that was a sample.

Huh? As far as I know abuse has always been looked at by the Family Law Courts, there are plenty of posts about domestic violence charges, stalking etc being brought in. What are you referring to?

I thought you were all ready to settle and get this done and over with but with all those posts looking for people to support you I doubted.


There is all sorts of abuse, basically gaslighting / lying is also a form of violence under Family Law. Threatening to kill pets etc or destroy someone's finances too. those are the type of things not looked at so intently until the last couple of years. The stuff that that guy did has always been looked down upon. Anyone care to expand?

Stillbreathing 05-18-2022 04:35 PM

There was a newspaper article last week that explained the significance of this case in more detail. The mother basically brought a civil suit against the father for damages incurred from his abuse in addition to the regular application for divorce which until this case, was unheard of. Judges in family court are supposed to look at abuse when determining the best interests of the child and perhaps the victims ability to become self sufficient financially when determining spousal support. This award for damages has nothing to do with the usual family law financial distribution of assets, cs or ss. This award is in addition to any equalization payment as a separate award, which has never been ordered before as a part of divorce proceedings. That’s what makes it so unique. Plus, of all things, it was a self represented litigant who accomplished this! Unbelievable! A real David and Goliath story. It opens the door for other domestic violence victims to apply for similar awards in family court !

The article appeared in the Toronto star April 7, 2022 and states the husband is appealing the ruling. It will be interesting to see what the appeals court has to say!

Somebody may want to link the article to this thread as it explains the significance of this “landmark” ruling in more detail.

Islandmom 05-19-2022 05:00 PM

This is what I meant - they’re awarding damages now within the family law courts.

False allegations make me furious - it makes the path that true victims of DV much harder. I actually waited and suffered extra abuse so that I could gather evidence to prove what was happening. There is no discussion about what happened or didn’t happen in my case - it’s on CCTV.

iona6656 05-19-2022 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stillbreathing (Post 250622)
There was a newspaper article last week that explained the significance of this case in more detail. The mother basically brought a civil suit against the father for damages incurred from his abuse in addition to the regular application for divorce which until this case, was unheard of. Judges in family court are supposed to look at abuse when determining the best interests of the child and perhaps the victims ability to become self sufficient financially when determining spousal support. This award for damages has nothing to do with the usual family law financial distribution of assets, cs or ss. This award is in addition to any equalization payment as a separate award, which has never been ordered before as a part of divorce proceedings. That’s what makes it so unique. Plus, of all things, it was a self represented litigant who accomplished this! Unbelievable! A real David and Goliath story. It opens the door for other domestic violence victims to apply for similar awards in family court !

The article appeared in the Toronto star April 7, 2022 and states the husband is appealing the ruling. It will be interesting to see what the appeals court has to say!

Somebody may want to link the article to this thread as it explains the significance of this “landmark” ruling in more detail.

I'm going to look for the article now.

This is amazing. SERIOUSLY AMAZING.

When I left- I started putting together a small claims case against my ex for the absolute hell he put me through with the abuse. I had real damages- I took a massive paycut to move to be near my family for protection (not only for childcare)- but until I moved to another job- I moved back in with my parents (on the advice of the detective on my matter)- and spent well into $800+ a month on 407 fees. Also- I was pissed. I was so mad over the things he did. And while people have sued for abuse- it's about where you spend your resources. Often you're in the family court process- and it makes more sense to save your money and energy to fight for your kid- and pay for a therapist.

But this? This will ensure access to justice for victims of IPV.

iona6656 05-19-2022 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brampton33 (Post 250626)
In the same conversation, there should be harsh penalties for false allegation of abuse in Family Court....where one parent alleges it to gain tactical advantage. If allegations are false, dismissed or discredited, such parent should lose custody altogether.

There are those cases, they've been posted here from time to time.

And I don't think this should be in the same breath. At all. What is talked about in this ruling is damages for substantiated intimate partner violence. Separate and apart from impacts to custody.

Islandmom 05-21-2022 12:41 PM

Can we actually have this thread be free of discussion of false allegations? I get it - there are terrible people who suddenly come up with false allegations in the midst of divorce.

I suffered in complete silence for years. Nobody knew what I was dealing with behind closed doors. Not even my best friend. It’s only a year ago that I finally shared with one friend. And I still didn’t tell her everything.

But I suffered continual abuse until I was able to get hard evidence because I knew there would be an accusation that I was making it up(and shock… there was). Getting it on video is the smartest thing I’ve ever done. And getting that evidence was necessary due to the reality that people who make false allegations have made this path so much harder for those who have suffered real dv/ipv.

Can this section of the page be free of false allegation discussions? Can that go somewhere else?

Stillbreathing 05-21-2022 05:41 PM

This case should be stickied in this section

Tayken 05-22-2022 05:42 PM

There have been other torts inside of Family Law cases. For those asking about the opposite a member of this forum brought a tort for libel/slander and won an award for false allegations to CAS. False allegations to CAS was the grounds. That case was groundbreaking as that parent had to get special orders for record releases from CAS. The "friend" who called in the false allegation and the other parent had to pay big bucks for their conduct.

rockscan 05-23-2022 06:36 PM

Heres another one: https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc...2022scc22.html.

There is a lot to unpack in this case but the main point is the judge felt it was in the childrens best interest to move with their mother away from their habitual residence as it was uninhabitable and the father was abusive.

It sounds like the court held the trial judges decision but the father appealed on the grounds he had money to fix the residence from his parents. The SC decision outlined that this information should have been provided in the original trial and not on appeal and the appeals court was wrong in over turning the original decision.

pinkHouses 05-23-2022 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tayken (Post 250634)
There have been other torts inside of Family Law cases. For those asking about the opposite a member of this forum brought a tort for libel/slander and won an award for false allegations to CAS. False allegations to CAS was the grounds. That case was groundbreaking as that parent had to get special orders for record releases from CAS. The "friend" who called in the false allegation and the other parent had to pay big bucks for their conduct.

Good for them. A rare case and I am not that smart.
My lawyer said "There is nothing I can do about that" but it wasn't as bad as what I remember that members case was like. I got out of it because their wasn't a shred of evidence but it was horrible.
In my dreams I have enough money for a team a lawyers to hold those that were untruthful accountable.
I was very disheartened when someone in the system told me that Family court perjury really isn't perjury and from what I am seen it is true.

Stillbreathing 05-23-2022 10:19 PM

Thanks Rockscan. Great find. It’s so heartening that this case and the one I originally posted about have come to light. It really does show that judges are finally becoming educated about the consequences of verified domestic violence during divorce proceedings. I have been searching for this type of case since my litigation started 10 years ago. It gives survivors of domestic violence at least some hope that all is not lost when they enter family court. These rulings are long overdue.

rockscan 05-24-2022 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stillbreathing (Post 250644)
Thanks Rockscan. Great find. Its so heartening that this case and the one I originally posted about have come to light. It really does show that judges are finally becoming educated about the consequences of verified domestic violence during divorce proceedings. I have been searching for this type of case since my litigation started 10 years ago. It gives survivors of domestic violence at least some hope that all is not lost when they enter family court. These rulings are long overdue.


I saw the recap in the Globe and Mail then looked for the case. The article noted it was the first to use the new divorce act changes. Plus it considered best interests of the children over maximum contact. There was some other garbage the ex husband had done too so he had no one to blame.

pinkHouses 05-24-2022 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stillbreathing (Post 250644)
Thanks Rockscan. Great find. It’s so heartening that this case and the one I originally posted about have come to light. It really does show that judges are finally becoming educated about the consequences of verified domestic violence during divorce proceedings. I have been searching for this type of case since my litigation started 10 years ago. It gives survivors of domestic violence at least some hope that all is not lost when they enter family court. These rulings are long overdue.

finally?
This forum is awash with people saying judges removed access (overrode maximum contact) due to domestic violence. It is a go to accusation because it has a long history of working.

This case doesn't sound that unusual, the person ruled against was a piece of work. I fail to see the "halleluiah finally" unless we are talking about the cash payout and I dont know that that is unique.

Stillbreathing 05-24-2022 01:39 PM

One of the things I think is outstanding about this case is that not only is this a landmark ruling which will no doubt be used as reference case law in upcoming litigation but it was a self-rep litigant who accomplished this amazing feat! Absolutely inspirational!

Islandmom 05-24-2022 04:13 PM

This is a domestic violence thread not an abuse of court process thread.

You have no idea about what people on here have suffered. “very surprising if any of it could be used by anyone here” - you have no idea what you’re talking about. Just because we don’t want to share details here doesn’t mean we haven’t suffered horrendous crimes as victims.

Abuse is not abuse. Being raped and beaten is far worse than having to deal with a crazy ex who is falsely accusing you of stuff.

iona6656 05-24-2022 04:58 PM

Pretty much. The financial damage caused by my abuse is substantial. I'm not even talking about the emotional toll and the years of therapy I've gone through to deal with the PTS, and not let it affect my job so I can continue to work in a high-stress/high-demand field. What I shared on this forum is a fraction of what was done.

I was going to come in here to provide my opinion. (is the nice way of saying it).

But now I'm just going to co-sign the OP on this.

Shut up about the false accusations. That is not what this thread is about. It's about the fact that there is a ground breaking case which allows the family court process to award damages in a novel way through tort law; that within the marriage- a grievous wrong was committed by one party against another which resulted in damages; and almost more importantly- there is a huge ruling on the punitive damages that can be ordered. I do think this ruling will be challenged and scoped.

That is not to say that the false accusations don't produce their own trauma. I get it- they do. But what is being discussed here is intimate partner violence in the context of a marriage.

iona6656 05-24-2022 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinkHouses (Post 250648)
This case doesn't sound that unusual, the person ruled against was a piece of work. I fail to see the "halleluiah finally" unless we are talking about the cash payout and I dont know that that is unique.

It is very unique in the context of family law. To get this type of award- especially the punitive award- you would have to go through a civil case. And seeing as it is most often women who are the victims, with little or no ability to fund both their family case AND their civil case against their former partners- having the ability for family judges to award damages is MAJOR.

Intimate partner violence- which happens in every context, e.g. committed against the husband in a cisgender marriage; same sex unions, etc- all of them are important and as a society we need to start doing more to recognize this issue and the impact on family court proceedings.

rockscan 05-24-2022 10:16 PM

At the risk of having this thread closed I think the mods need to step in and do something about the hijacking that has happened. Which is sad because cases like these should be celebrated as examples of change that is needed. Not to mention that the female survivors on this forum who could benefit from knowing these cases get punished further by having these discussions stopped because a small group didnt like being asked to stop trashing them. Which means that instead of being reprimanded for hijacking a topic unnecessarily, the thread will be closed to further IMPORTANT discussion and case sharing.

It is ironic that the people accusing the women of male bashing are, in their own posts, female bashing.

This thread is also an example of why these cases are importantsurvivors of domestic violence having their trauma acknowledged by the courts and survivors of domestic violence kindly asking that their vindication not be diluted on this forum.

blinkandimgone 05-24-2022 10:20 PM

Agreed.

This thread doesn't need to be hijacked with 'whataboutisms'.

If anyone would like to discuss false accusations or other topics, please make your own thread and discuss it there.

Jeff 05-24-2022 11:03 PM

Thanks.

Yes, please keep the thread focused on the issue being discussed.

I have moved the off topic posts to a separate thread in the forum.

I have sticky'd this thread.

pinkHouses 05-25-2022 02:04 AM

Ok. But what certainly is not off topic is the insinuation (directly implied by example of a man being a victim because another man did the violence) that only men commit violence and it isn't all physical.
The definition of violence in Family Law is different. So also watch what you say to avoid being caught up in it.
I also think that this was an extreme case and only time will tell if this gets applied to cases more in the norm.

blinkandimgone 05-25-2022 06:37 AM

Not one person has said or implied only men are abusers.

Stop trying to minimize the importance of this case, and devalue the accomplishment of the self repped mother.

Stillbreathing 05-25-2022 09:50 AM

I think allowing the mother to bring a tort claim under the umbrella of family litigation and making this monumental ruling, the judge is sending a strong message that:
1. Domestic Violence is real and does exist in all its ugliness
2. Society and the courts will no longer tolerate intimate partner abuse
3. If you are an abuser, beware because the court is willing to impose serious financial consequences against you
4. Domestic abuse is not a victimless crime and victims should be compensated

I also feel this case may help in other ways as well. My lawyer discouraged me from focusing too much attention on the domestic abuse during the marriage or litigation. They felt that given the current court atmosphere it would be best to use other arguments to advance my case.
The aforementioned case may now give lawyers ammunition to bring to light domestic violence suffered by their clients versus shying away from it!

blinkandimgone 05-25-2022 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stillbreathing (Post 250677)
I think allowing the mother to bring a tort claim under the umbrella of family litigation and making this monumental ruling, the judge is sending a strong message that:
1. Domestic Violence is real and does exist in all its ugliness
2. Society and the courts will no longer tolerate intimate partner abuse
3. If you are an abuser, beware because the court is willing to impose serious financial consequences against you
4. Domestic abuse is not a victimless crime and victims should be compensated

I also feel this case may help in other ways as well. My lawyer discouraged me from focusing too much attention on the domestic abuse during the marriage or litigation. They felt that given the current court atmosphere it would be best to use other arguments to advance my case.
The aforementioned case may now give lawyers ammunition to bring to light domestic violence suffered by their clients versus shying away from it!

I think many, many people have been discouraged from adding any focus on DV in their cases for a very long time, especially when there are kids involved. Keeping the focus on the kids is important, however having recourse for DV is equally important.

pinkHouses 05-25-2022 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blinkandimgone (Post 250672)

Stop trying to minimize the importance of this case, and devalue the accomplishment of the self repped mother.

You just made that up.
Never did I devalue the accomplishments of the self-repped LITTIGANT. I don't understand why them being a mother is important here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blinkandimgone (Post 250672)
Not one person has said or implied only men are abusers.

It is like this board has its own personal definition of DV; Family Law be damned.

Here there is the acknowledgement that men can be abused if another man does it. Implication by exclusion.

Why not say be more inclusive and quicker by saying "Intimate partner violence can be committed by any one partner against the other, period":

Quote:

Originally Posted by iona6656 (Post 250659)
Intimate partner violence- which happens in every context, e.g. committed against the husband in a cisgender marriage; same sex unions, etc- all of them are important and as a society we need to start doing more to recognize this issue and the impact on family court proceedings.


blinkandimgone 05-25-2022 12:00 PM

Neither this thread nor this case are about defining DV to suit a particular person, or male vs female abusers.

If you don't have anything of value to add to the original topic, please take those comments to a thread dedicated to those topics.

StillPaying 05-25-2022 12:16 PM

I don't see this as amazing, and certainly not a reason to go back to record more abuse which will always come as a perceived setup. This family court IPV acknowledgment is nothing more than a money grab while you still 50/50 coparent with this person.

IMO, criminal court and protective orders are available. If you decide to forgive and stay with them, asking for money later does nothing. Family court has always dealt with abuse, so I don't see a payout making it better.

It was hard, but I could understand paying my ex ss along with the equalization payment. To turn around and take that money back for how my ex treated me throughout the marriage, although glorifying would make no sense.

Unless you're dealing with someone wealthy, I don't see this going far and wide. Does a slap from RS cost more than Blink? Physical vs emotional, rich vs poor, old vs young, male vs female, disabled vs able-bodied? Most of the items Iona mentioned would be covered under a ss claim; and I could understand the tort claim against CAS/accuser. But a spouse... I see this going really bad. I'd rather get my cost awarded.

iona6656 05-25-2022 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillPaying (Post 250685)
I don't see this as amazing, and certainly not a reason to go back to record more abuse which will always come as a perceived setup. This family court IPV acknowledgment is nothing more than a money grab while you still 50/50 coparent with this person.

IMO, criminal court and protective orders are available. If you decide to forgive and stay with them, asking for money later does nothing. Family court has always dealt with abuse, so I don't see a payout making it better.

It was hard, but I could understand paying my ex ss along with the equalization payment. To turn around and take that money back for how my ex treated me throughout the marriage, although glorifying would make no sense.

Unless you're dealing with someone wealthy, I don't see this going far and wide. Does a slap from RS cost more than Blink? Physical vs emotional, rich vs poor, old vs young, male vs female, disabled vs able-bodied? Most of the items Iona mentioned would be covered under a ss claim; and I could understand the tort claim against CAS/accuser. But a spouse... I see this going really bad. I'd rather get my cost awarded.

How could I get that under a spousal support claim? I was the higher income earner.

I think what you are all missing is this is not about a perceived setup for abuse- it's substantiated. Most of the perpetrators of IPV aren't being found guilty through the family court system- I would hazard a guess that in most cases there is usually some record of a criminal acts. In any case- the fact that you can consolidate the claims into one process offers more access to justice to the victims.

It's also why there is a push towards consolidating the criminal and family courts. Again- bottomline- keep your mf'ing hands to yourself. Don't be an asshole. A marriage is supposed to be an equal partnership where there isn't force exerted on one party by another to create an imbalance of power. If there is- if it can be proven - then there is now a means to claim your damages through the family court process.

Now. Am I afraid that this is going to open a floodgate of unscrupulous claims? Yes. But we have that in personal injury law as well. Just because the determination of truth may be difficult doesn't mean that access to justice should be denied.

StillPaying 05-25-2022 12:37 PM

Ss works both ways.

The info should be shared and readily available between both courts, but to me - criminal court is handling it. And like you said - most likely a history, pictures, reports, communications, that go along with it.

I guess I'm lost on the "choice" aspect. Do you stay longer and collect more proof for more money. I don't think it would be hard to continuously collect from an abuser. Family court should be about handling kids and splitting financials - no fault - not the tort side of paying me back for 1 cheating and 3 assaults.

iona6656 05-25-2022 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillPaying (Post 250688)
Ss works both ways.

The info should be shared and readily available between both courts, but to me - criminal court is handling it. And like you said - most likely a history, pictures, reports, communications, that go along with it.

I guess I'm lost on the "choice" aspect. Do you stay longer and collect more proof for more money. I don't think it would be hard to continuously collect from an abuser. Family court should be about handling kids and splitting financials - no fault - not the tort side of paying me back for 1 cheating and 3 assaults.

I really think you're missing how IPV works- and the implications and trauma it causes. If you think there is even a thought of "how much can I get if I get one more punch to the face'- you've completely missed the point. And you really have lost all credibility to speak on the subject. You're not adding much here.

This is not a money grab.

This ruling is punitive in nature- it's the courts saying there is a cost to behaviour that is unacceptable by society in the context of violence committed in the family setting. It is not the same thing as assault.

StillPaying 05-25-2022 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iona6656 (Post 250694)
This is not a money grab.

This ruling is punitive in nature- it's the courts saying there is a cost to behaviour that is unacceptable by society in the context of violence committed in the family setting. It is not the same thing as assault.

It's a cost on pain and suffering. You're so focused on physical, which is not what this ruling was only about. There's so much more to abuse. But again, why is family court putting a cost on it. I'll go toe to toe with any victim here on personal story; yet again, I don't see how taking money from my ex after the fact does anything while I still see them every week co-parenting.

iona6656 05-25-2022 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StillPaying (Post 250701)
It's a cost on pain and suffering. You're so focused on physical, which is not what this ruling was only about. There's so much more to abuse. But again, why is family court putting a cost on it. I'll go toe to toe with any victim here on personal story; yet again, I don't see how taking money from my ex after the fact does anything while I still see them every week co-parenting.

I don't disagree with you- that's why I think this ruling is going to be scoped. There are a couple of factors in this decision- the kids have no relationship with the father. There's no "co-parenting" going on.

cost on pain and suffering is damages- which case maybe be quantifiable. What is interesting is that this ruling is punitive. It's a judgement call by the courts. And I love to see it. I wish more victims could be set up for receiving punitive damages. In my experience in law- it's something that is done more in the US than here. There's pros and cons to it- will it make us more litigious? Probably. But I'm also hoping that will have the effect of deterrence.

Jeff 05-30-2022 07:27 PM

Note that on March 24, 2022, a Notice of Appeal was filed by the Applicant, Amrit Pal Singh Ahluwalia seeking to set aside the Order of Justice Mandhane on the basis that the novel cause of action of family violence was applied without any basis in existing common law, that the Court failed to conduct the Anns/Cooper test in recognizing and applying the novel cause of action of family violence, and that the Court erred in law by referencing and applying factors and considerations in the Divorce Act as the test for establishing a novel cause of action, as well as misinterpreting those factors and considerations in establishing the novel cause of action of family violence, amongst other reasons.

blinkandimgone 05-30-2022 07:29 PM

Thanks for the update, Jeff!

Tayken 05-31-2022 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff (Post 250791)
Note that on March 24, 2022, a Notice of Appeal was filed by the Applicant, Amrit Pal Singh Ahluwalia seeking to set aside the Order of Justice Mandhane on the basis that the novel cause of action of family violence was applied without any basis in existing common law, that the Court failed to conduct the Anns/Cooper test in recognizing and applying the novel cause of action of family violence, and that the Court erred in law by referencing and applying factors and considerations in the Divorce Act as the test for establishing a novel cause of action, as well as misinterpreting those factors and considerations in establishing the novel cause of action of family violence, amongst other reasons.

I was waiting to see Anns/Cooper test come up. Not surprised by the appeal.


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