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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 06-02-2011, 12:59 PM
frustrateddad1970 frustrateddad1970 is offline
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Default Lawyer Requests

I am self-representing myself in court, when I filed the paperwork the court clerk sheduled a case conference. My ex-Wife lawyer sent me a letter stating I must check her availablity prior to scheduling court date.

I have found no documentation to support the Lawyer claim. The Court Clerk did not ask for my availability either. Does anyone know if I have to verify lawyers availability prior to Court Clerk scheduling a case conference?

My ex-Wife lawyer continually threatens me with having to pay court costs.

She is also requesting prompt responses. Letter date May 25, 2011 not received until May 29 2011 - but she insisted a response within 7 days of the date of the letter. Can they do this?

Does anyone have documentation on what lawyers can request when? I assume lawyer is trying to scare me - I have asked several time to work this outside of court with either ex-wife lawyer or my ex-directly.

My ex indicated she is only willing to work with me on issue if I withdraw the court papers.

Advice?
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:08 PM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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Did she send the letter registered mail? If not, how does she know you actually received it or when.

A prompt response could essentially be acknowledgement of receipt and that you will have an answer in X days.

Usually acknowledgement within 24-48 hours of receipt would be a sufficient businesslike time. Go with that. You aren't playing her game, and you are acknowledging you received the item, giving a timeframe to allow you sufficient time to answer it.

YOU don't schedule a court date, the court clerk does. Call the clerk's office and see how the process is usually handled. I suspect the lawyer is just trying to bully you.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:15 PM
fieldgrey fieldgrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frustrateddad1970 View Post
I am self-representing myself in court, when I filed the paperwork the court clerk sheduled a case conference. My ex-Wife lawyer sent me a letter stating I must check her availablity prior to scheduling court date.
The court clerk/coordinator should not set down dates without agreement from both parties. One party shouldn't be able to set a date with the clerk/coordinator without confirming availability of the other party. The courts work best when each party should treat the other respectfully about their schedule. But a willful litigant can push past this.

Look at the consequence of not acting appropriately: the opposition files a motion for adjournment, it gets endorsed and the endorsement goes into the trial record. A few of these and you will be viewed as a hostile, sneaky litigant. The better path is seek permission on dates, in writing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frustrateddad1970 View Post
She is also requesting prompt responses. Letter date May 25, 2011 not received until May 29 2011 - but she insisted a response within 7 days of the date of the letter. Can they do this?
Depends on what is being asked for. What are the consequences if you are 'late'? Frankly, deadlines should match the work required to respond and it's impossible to state generally if 7 days is long or short. This sounds like a bully tactic and should be responded to accordingly: when you get a request send an email or fax indicating date of receipt of request and a commitment as to when you'll reply by. Be reasonable about timelines, don't try to bully back. Keep scrupulous documentation about these communications. If the opposition doesn't like it, they'll tell you and you can negotiate from there.

I'm afraid none of this solves your question 'can they do this'. That's because the laws are not written to govern every aspect of how we conduct our lives, even in court. If you see a persistent issue, document the problem with facts, take it up at the next case conference.

FG
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:44 AM
TLCRN TLCRN is offline
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I am suprised the case conference date and amount of time needed was not discussed at the previous court appearance; as usually a case conference is decided by the Justice at a motion when parties cannot come to an agreement.
There is no law per say stating a deadline to answer correspondance, unless a court order states otherwise. The faster you answer/provide documents, the better it is for you showing you are cooperating. Keep record when documents received and sent.
There is not much the lawyer can do if you don't reply within 7 days but to mentionned it at the next court appearance.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:20 AM
frustrateddad1970 frustrateddad1970 is offline
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To start the application I had to file the paperwork Form 8, 35.1,13,17 and 17 a to court clerk. The court clerk checked my paperwork and assigned me a date to attend MIP( Mandatory Information Program). Then they assigned the first case conference -where we discuss the case. The date was 2 weeks after the respondant had 30 days to reply to the application for changes. Since they did not ask me if the date was good for me - I just assumed this was normal practice for court clerk to set the initial date.

Since this was the first step in the process and the respondant had not yet been served paperwork what would of been the best means to verify the lawyers availabilty? As the court/clerk wanted a date at that time. Should I call and follow up in writing?

Thanks for the helpful tips
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:05 PM
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Why do you need to verify with the lawyers availability? I am sure you will notified if the lawyer is not available with the date the court clerk gives you. Did you file a Form 14:Notice of Motion? which states on the form: "the person making this motion or the person's lawyer must contact the clerk of the court by telephone or otherwise to choose a time and date when the court could hear the motion".
My former lawyer was served many motions with a date set by the other party who was self represented without consulting with her of her avaibility. If she wasn't able to attend, she either made arrangements for myself or another legal councel to attend and have the matter adjourned. Usually Justices depending on the issue, will set a date for the matter to be heard sooner than later, but by contacting the lawyer yourself, he/she might give you an availability date of when she wants to delaying the matter from being heard.
It was interesting as at our last assignment court, there were law students who attended on behalf of other legal counsel, requesting a motion date of September 2011; anothe a trial with a date of March 2012. Since these were Family Law issues, Justice said "absolutely not, was ridiculous, a tactic of delaying court dealings and perhaps someone else should be taking over these cases if legal counsel was too busy to deal with these matters".
The court clerk didn't ask you if you contacted the other party? or did she?
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:00 PM
fieldgrey fieldgrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frustrateddad1970 View Post
To start the application I had to file the paperwork Form 8, 35.1,13,17 and 17 a to court clerk. The court clerk checked my paperwork and assigned me a date to attend MIP( Mandatory Information Program). Then they assigned the first case conference -where we discuss the case. The date was 2 weeks after the respondant had 30 days to reply to the application for changes. Since they did not ask me if the date was good for me - I just assumed this was normal practice for court clerk to set the initial date.

Since this was the first step in the process and the respondant had not yet been served paperwork what would of been the best means to verify the lawyers availabilty? As the court/clerk wanted a date at that time. Should I call and follow up in writing?

Thanks for the helpful tips
The first case conference date is usually out of the hands of the litigants. However at your case conference the justice will likely set the next date for settlement conference based on both parties' consent.

Motions are a different matter and dates should be canvassed of the other party as it is a hearing. That said, there is no requirement to do so. But if you don't, you run the risk of adjournment and being treated the same way by the other party.

The exception are FRO motions as FRO counsel are always on duty.

FG
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