Dave chose not to attend court today. His lawyer was present.
On November 23, 2015 my lawyer contacted Dave’s lawyer to advise that I gave her instructions to pursue Dave in court for the outstanding expenses he continued to refuse to pay as per our mediation agreement. These included pet expenses, dance expenses, alterations to my daughter’s grad dress, and orthodontic expenses. His share totalled $1212.11.
We were also asking Dave to increase my spousal and child support from July 1, 2015 to January, 31, 2016 as per our agreement based on our 2014 income information.
We were asking Dave to pay our older daughter’s school account that he still hasn’t paid for the September 2014 – June 2015 school year and where my name is still included as being responsible for this account. This amount is over $1200. Our daughter was living with him at the time these expenses were incurred.
We were asking for Dave to provide me with interest on the RRSP amount he was to roll over to me on November 6, 2014 that I have yet to receive.
We asked him to provide details of the life insurance that he was to get in November 2014.
We asked for information from his bank outlining all bank accounts he had at the time of our separation because there were unexplained transactions leading us to believe he carried an undisclosed bank account.
We asked for details of RESP accounts for both our daughters that he had control of and failed to disclose at mediation and has failed to provide details about.
My lawyer filed our documents on December 4. Dave has to meet the court rules and provide a response within 5 days. When my lawyer hadn’t received anything by December 9 she contacted his lawyer. He had a lot of excuses for the delay and urged my solicitor to push our December 17 court date to January 20, 2016. She did. She asked that Dave’s response be at her office by January 11 so she had time to review it. When it wasn’t received by this time she contacted Dave’s lawyer again. She told him that she was in court on Thursday and Friday and then after court on Friday she had to fly to Vancouver for a family death. She needed the documents by Wednesday in order to have time to review them. Dave’s lawyer served her on Friday at 3:50 p.m. when he knew she wasn’t available to receive them. She did not receive Dave’s affidavit until Monday morning, 2 days before our scheduled court date.
I did manage to drop everything to respond to Dave’s 21 points in case Dave’s affidavit was admitted into court despite him failing to meet the filing deadline. My lawyer filed our response to Dave’s affidavit the night before our court appearance. The judge therefore had none of this information.
The judge ruled Dave’s affidavit was inadmissible. Dave’s lawyer had to try to explain why Dave ignored court rules but instead tried to just make excuses why the judge should hear his evidence. The judge again asked why he should admit Dave’s affidavit when Dave was “thumbing his nose at the rules”, “inconveniencing the courts”, “not abiding by the rules that are in place to avoid hearings by ambush”. Dave’s lawyer finally conceded there was no excuse.
Dave’s lawyer’s big mistake was still trying to get his client’s affidavit admitted by using the words “in the name of Justice.” The judge said, (and I might be paraphrasing a little but I wrote down as many of his comments as I could): In the name of justice we should be able to move forward today because your client responded to the action brought against him in accordance to the rules. Instead, he has played every game he can play. He has not done his job. He makes north of $100,000 more than the claimant. He controls everything. He has applied the pressure to the claimant, hammered her against the wall and twiddled his thumbs for a year plus. He has forced her to make an application to the court. Why doesn’t he give his paycheck over to the claimant and let her decide how much he should have? I bet the claimant would love to have his difficulties. What in the world do we have to control people like him if we don’t have court rules. He just waits in the weeds. We need to send a message to people like him that we are not kidding.
The judge then ruled that he found it fit to not receive his evidence because Dave’s actions are to be frowned upon. Otherwise, it is just a license for people to show up last minute and cry “in the interest of justice.” The lower income party has been on the short end of the stick. The higher income party was well equipped to be able to do what mattered and he chose not to. He used the court as a way to apply pressure to squeeze the side with the least means. There will be financial consequences to Mr. Cherrie for essentially his “bare faced ignoring of court rules.”
As such, I won all the orders we were seeking. Dave was ordered to pay me spousal support and child support arrears in the amount that was agreed upon prior to the court hearing. In fact 7/10 of the items we were seeking were agreed upon by Dave’s lawyer prior to us being heard which made the judge indicate that if Dave had have filed on time court may have been avoided all together. Dave was ordered to pay me TODAY support arrears in the amount of $5663, to start paying me an increase in spousal and child support as of February 1, 2015 plus an additional $1300 in punitive damages to pay my court fees and legal fees. The judge also said that if we have to come back to court on any of these issues that Dave will be ordered to pay my costs again.
In essence, Dave just spent $2600 (both of our court costs) to fight me on $1200 worth of expenses. While he was scrambling to get his documents in just before our proceedings he agreed to pay the support arrears (although he tried to haggle off $28/month from the calculation) and tried to send over some documentation that we requested in our order but still didn’t satisfy what we required. What a waste of time, energy and money. We ran out of time so the expense issue had to be adjourned. Therefore, Dave will still have to go back to court with me to fight those expenses and we are still asking for costs because they are agreed upon expenses. We will be back in court unless Dave pays me in full. I have no more patience for this man and the court agrees.