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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 08-15-2019, 05:43 AM
Lemongirl Lemongirl is offline
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Default Duty counsel in Superior Court

Now that the Ontario Family Court is now within the Superior court I was told that they no longer provide a short duty counsel meeting before u go into the courtroom if you are not eligible. In OFC they previously offered it to anyone regardless of income. I have court in September so wondering if I should just show up and wait for my turn without signing the DC list? Just not sure of the new process now. They also used to provide guidance when u leave the courtroom like next steps, what to file, etc. Any insight is appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:25 AM
tilt tilt is offline
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I believe the change is due to the massive Legal Aide cuts. They are not providing any help at FLIC or Duty Counsel unless you meet the criteria (the actual numbers are on the Legal Aide website but for example a single parent of three has to earn less than $30,000 and canít own property or have $2,000 in RESPs or bank accounts)

Instead, Judges are having to spend a lot of time explaining to self-represented litigants basic procedures and how to fill out forms instead of a much lower paid DC.

You can ask DC when you go, but I believe they are being pretty strict about it. Give Doug Ford a call and ask him why he just increased the cost of the justice system. Seems like a bad business decision to me, but maybe he runs Deco like that and has the IT departments also sweep the shop floor.

Last edited by tilt; 08-15-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:43 PM
tunnelight tunnelight is offline
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Income requirements has always been the case. BUT, I have been able to speak to and receive assistance from duty counsel even when I was way overqualified. Some don't ask about income and just help you. Depends how you approach them.. first impressions.. body language...I ended up retaining the one that helped me.

Try to go early morning and catch a nice duty counsel, or just go up to them and talk to them (IN A FRIENDLY MANNER). Or borrow money and hire someone. Self representing has huge risks. Judges don't always explain things. Judges can easily lose their cool and totally screw you over and slam you with costs if you don't know what the hell you're doing.

Last edited by tunnelight; 08-15-2019 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:51 PM
Lemongirl Lemongirl is offline
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In the past I too have been able to speak with duty counsel before going into the courtroom for a few minutes and they even went in with me as well and spoke on my behalf without asking for income. Apparently now that there is no Ontario Family Court they no longer are allowed to do that.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:39 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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Ya, if you havenít gone to court in the past month or two you will find the changes significant they have much less staff now and see very few people.
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