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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  
Old 03-02-2019, 06:37 PM
GreenGrass GreenGrass is offline
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I had a Section 30 done and it was very poorly done and it was less in my favor than my exs favor.

This crappy report is going to cost me (and my spouse) a small fortune in trial fees because now they feel emboldened and I feel cheated and believe I can win.

What is the liability of the private assessors if they are shown to have done incompetent and or highly biased work?

Yes, I know Section 30s are not great to have. I got pulled into one by a lawyer and I suppose the spouse did too. I couldn't get out of it.
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:51 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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Donít stress too much about it. S30 assessments are merely expensive toilet paper until you go to trial. Six months from now the assessment will be stale dated. Itíll be sufficient for the upcoming trial settings however if youíre not already on the trial list and miss this round...the court will need an updated s30...( can you hear the cash registers sing?). Iíve been waiting for 7 years and 4 x s30 assessments to go to trial. I refuse to pay for or participate in any more.good luck to you.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:59 PM
GreenGrass GreenGrass is offline
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Are the assessors immune to civil action?
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:59 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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I soooo understand where you are coming from, however...it requires time and energy to proceed with civil litigation against them. Even if you are right and have a good case you are already at a disadvantage because you are a parent in a family court battle. As such you are already viewed unfavourably by the court and dismissed as an overly emotional party in a custody battle who is not to be taken seriously. You can also proceed with a complaint to their governing body but that will come back to bite you in family court where you will be seen as a vexatious litigant. Think of family court and all the side players like s30 assessors in terms of a chess game. Weigh your moves very carefully.
Choose your battles wisely. You may be right that the assessor deserves to be sued but you probably have more important things to focus your time and energy on right now.
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:19 AM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGrass View Post
What is the liability of the private assessors if they are shown to have done incompetent and or highly biased work?
How on God's green and grassy Earth would you go about proving this? Remember, it is not enough to prove that they are wrong, you have to prove that they are wrong AND incompetent. You are not qualified to determine the quality of an assessment, which means that you would have to hire an expert witness to go through the notes.

And again, it would not be enough for the expert to testify that they would have come to a different conclusion. The expert would have to testify that absolutely every single person who was a competent assessor would have completed the assessment in a different manner.

Of course, the assessor would then hire their own expert to counteract your expert, and the other expert has a much easier job. They just have to say "Yeah, that's pretty much how I would have gone about doing the assessment"

Fighting the conclusion of the assessment is one thing, winning civil damages directly from the assessor is a whole level of crap beyond that. The cost consequences of the likely loss of the civil suit would be staggering.

You disagree with the result, that is fine. The civil suit is a dead end. Drop the idea immediately, it will only bring you grief.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:19 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenGrass View Post
I had a Section 30 done and it was very poorly done and it was less in my favor than my exs favor.
As is the case with the majority of S30 assessments. See Stillbreathing's post above.

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Originally Posted by GreenGrass View Post
This crappy report is going to cost me (and my spouse) a small fortune in trial fees because now they feel emboldened and I feel cheated and believe I can win.
This is the wrong way to go about it. Family Law is not about "winners". If one or both parties take this position before the court they will end up being "losers" because the battle to win will sink their cause.

High-conflict people view the family court as a win/lose situation. It is a very common and easily identified pattern of behavior. Ultimately all high-conflict people lose because family court is about compromise on both sides.

If you are unwilling to compromise and hold a strong position and a need to win then you have thrown Rule 24 ("best interests of the children") out the window. The objective is not the parents winning or losing... It is about the CHILDREN winning. If you allow the conflict to escalate it only impacts the children, increases costs and jeopardizes their long-term relationship with you.

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Originally Posted by GreenGrass View Post
What is the liability of the private assessors if they are shown to have done incompetent and or highly biased work?
They are an expert witness and are very protected against vexatious and frivolous complaints. You really need to hire a superior lawyer to explain this to you.

https://theactiongroup.ca/wp-content...r-Jan-2016.pdf

Read that paper. As you may not I will quote a relevant paragraph from it and highlight the key points that are demonstrated in your pattern on this site.

Quote:
High conflict family law cases frequently involve parents with problematic personality tendencies and/or personality disorders. Additionally, many of the family law cases that proceed to an assessment involve litigants who are deeply entrenched in the dispute. These cases are usually extremely difficult to resolve for many reasons, including the importance of the parenting issues to the parties, unrealistic expectations held by one or both parties, an inability for litigants to move from considering their own interests to those of the children, and, in many instances, the impact to some degree of a mental illness and/or personality disorder on the part of one or both parents. Consequently, it is perhaps not surprising that such litigants tend to question the conduct of the assessor when they are dissatisfied with the assessorís recommendations, irrespective of whether or not the assessor has met his or her professional obligations.
Sorry to say but, your patterns of behaviour on this site and in your postings make you appear to be a classic "high conflict" person. You are not going to like this statement. You are going to probably defend yourself viciously saying you are not doing this. That you are different. That we (or I) do not understand everything.

Reality check for you. I have over 6000 posts. I have read your posts thousands of times over. Your pattern of behaviour is very typical to a very frustrated high-conflict parent. Almost textbook to what William Eddy and other professionals write about. You are stuck in your thinking and stuck in the conflict. Until you understand how to manage your anxiety and stuck thinking you will be in a cycle of unnecessary conflict and there will be no resolution in your matter. The best thing you can do for you and most importantly, your children, is to go seek out counseling with a professional who specializes in Cognitive Behaviour Thinking (CBT). They can help you significantly in resolving this negative behavior pattern you are experiencing.

You are experiencing a trauma. Family separation. You may not be a "high conflict" person in general. Most people are not consistently "high conflict". Child disputes between parents can cause temporary anxiety and often does. But, you need to recognize this negative pattern of behavior and you have to want to change it for things to truly get better.

You may be experiencing an "adjustment disorder" which is very common in your situation. This is not "bad" nor will it cause you to lose your children should you be diagnosed with it. What is "bad" is if you ignore it, say you ar fine and don't seek the help you need. It will only spiral and become worse for you.

You need to heed Janus' and other very experienced and wise posters advice on this site. You are headed straight to a very ugly, expensive and wasteful family law trial...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGrass View Post
Yes, I know Section 30s are not great to have. I got pulled into one by a lawyer and I suppose the spouse did too. I couldn't get out of it.
You can get out of it by focusing on the recommendations. Learning to compromise and making a good offer to settle. Use the S30 as guidance and not fact. Use the recommendations. Make offers to settle. Stop fighting to "win" and start fighting to "settle" the matter.

You need to learn to compromise. If you are not wiling to compromise and what you should really compromise on... It is only going to get worse for you.

There are no winners in Family Court.

Last edited by Tayken; 03-03-2019 at 09:38 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2019, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Janus View Post
How on God's green and grassy Earth would you go about proving this? Remember, it is not enough to prove that they are wrong, you have to prove that they are wrong AND incompetent. You are not qualified to determine the quality of an assessment, which means that you would have to hire an expert witness to go through the notes.
It is rarely done. The "success" rate is even rarer. I have case law where it has been done but, we are talking about absolute quacks. Add on top of that the protections given to "expert witnesses" in legislation to be protected from this.

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Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Of course, the assessor would then hire their own expert to counteract your expert, and the other expert has a much easier job. They just have to say "Yeah, that's pretty much how I would have gone about doing the assessment"
Even worse... The assessor doesn't hire their own expert. Their practice insurance provider does. They are extreme experts when it comes to defending their clients because ultimately, it is the multi-billion-dollar insurance company that has to pay.

Furthermore, the college will generally not rule against a clinician. It has to be gross negligence that put someone in serious danger. The college doesn't do much in the case of "opinion evidence".

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Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Fighting the conclusion of the assessment is one thing, winning civil damages directly from the assessor is a whole level of crap beyond that. The cost consequences of the likely loss of the civil suit would be staggering.
It is staggering.

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You disagree with the result, that is fine. The civil suit is a dead end. Drop the idea immediately, it will only bring you grief.
Agreed.
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:23 PM
OrleansLawyer OrleansLawyer is offline
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Quote:
Fighting the conclusion of the assessment is one thing, winning civil damages directly from the assessor is a whole level of crap beyond that. The cost consequences of the likely loss of the civil suit would be staggering.
In a civil claim, there are two parts to consider.
1 - did the defendant do, or fail to do, something resulting in a loss to the plaintiff?
2 - if yes, what is the value of that loss?

The family trial will be the defendant's best evidence. Either OP will lose the family trial - in which case the assessor is vindicated - or OP wins and receives costs from their ex. By receiving an award of costs they have already mitigated the loss due to the assessment. Not wholly, perhaps, but to some degree.

On the other hand, by suing the assessor, OP needs expert evidence that they failed to meet their duty of care or were negligent. That will not be cheap.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:48 AM
GreenGrass GreenGrass is offline
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Thank you for the points of view and facts.
When I say "I believe I can win" I should have put that in quotes, as stated it is a common state of mind. I am fully aware of the role that I am am stuck overcoming now.

Why did they lie? I don't know, their own sense of justice? Maybe they thought I was a bad guy. Maybe they found me to be a liar. I have to work to make sure I don't present that way if either are true. It is true I have experienced very high anxiety and I do realize that actions by the other side throughout were meant to increase my anxiety but I have not blown up or done anything like that.

Many significant things were left out of the report including some child abuse. How does that not make it into the report?

The bad thing about this is that it appears I am stuck going to trial now.
Yes, we are a high conflict pair but I have been a straight shooter during all of this and they have not.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:29 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGrass View Post
T

Why did they lie? I don't know, their own sense of justice? Maybe they thought I was a bad guy. Maybe they found me to be a liar. I have to work to make sure I don't present that way if either are true. It is true I have experienced very high anxiety and I do realize that actions by the other side throughout were meant to increase my anxiety but I have not blown up or done anything like that.
My guess is that there is some inherent bias that assessors come into the situations with...yes, there are a lot of false allegations. But consider that there are also a lot of real stories about aggressive, and abusive men in the domestic context. Unfortunately I think because the stakes are so high with family matters- kids- and their safety- I think no one wants to make a wrong judgment call, and a child or woman ends up harmed as a result. I've been reading a lot of cases regarding challenging assessors and OCL clinicians- and I wish that they would back their opinions/positions up with evidence- secondary affidavits (e.g. were there outcries previously? Do those fit the narrative?).

Again- sometimes (a lot of times) I feel guilt because I have the resources to get good advice going into these things. My lawyer actually coached me on how to back up the claims I was making. E.g. when I explained the historical violence in our relationship- I explained that as a result I went to see a counselor when I was pregnant and my ex physically confronted me. My lawyer made sure I notified that counselor (that I saw almost 3 years ago)- and I signed a release so that the OCL clinician could speak with her and verify what I was saying was true. That simple step verified the timeline for the clinician.

I wish they wouldn't just "believe this to be true". It works both ways. For example, my ex said that he stopped smoking weed and drinking. And the OCL basically said "I believe him". wtf? How hard would it have been to recommend that he do some closed private testing to back that claim up???

Quote:
Many significant things were left out of the report including some child abuse. How does that not make it into the report?
did they get the CAS report? were they notified CAS was involved.

Quote:
The bad thing about this is that it appears I am stuck going to trial now.
Yes, we are a high conflict pair but I have been a straight shooter during all of this and they have not.
Is your s.30 assessment complete and filed with the court? have you asked that they reexamine some of the issues?
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