I’m going to be vague about the ongoing issues within this discussion because of the fact that it’s still actively working its way through the court system.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am currently entrenched in some legal issues that were brought on by someone who was previously in my life and is no longer a part of it.
I didn’t cause it. I didn’t want it. I have been informed by all parties involved, and multiple law enforcement agencies, that the only way out is through the legal system. So, feeling as though this was my only way out, here we are.
If you’ve anything like me and have never run into legal issues before, you’re likely not aware of the ridiculously long lengths of time it takes anything to get done within the legal system. There are rules in which you are required to ensure that both parties are treated the same. Certain paperwork needs to be given 20 days for a person to sit with before they’re required to sign, for example. Certain courts take three months to get time in front of a judge, certain courts take eight months. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G takes time.
This seems great, right? The goal of the legal system is to ensure that parties are treated as fairly as possible ahead of any and all outcomes so that there are fewer appeals to decisions brought down by a judge.
In theory, this sounds great.
In reality, being in the position in which I presently find myself, I am learning firsthand just how easy it is for people to take advantage of the legal system to inflict pain and abuse on others.
Let’s talk about that.
I had my first court date in April. This court date was one which I had been asking for, and waiting for since November. By the time the court date in April was reached, I had already spent $10,000 on legal fees to ensure I was prepared for this court date. (Again, paperwork needs to get filed, steps need to be taken, time needs to be provided to other parties, etc)
The court date in April was supposed to be one which would last 30 mins, tops.
The other party showed up late for the court date, without a lawyer, and our case was pushed back 45 minutes beyond that 30 mins, to reprimand said party for their lateness. The judge, at this point, doesn’t understand the situation, and is probably quite busy so they don’t care to. By showing up late, without a lawyer, the other party was paying exactly $0 to be in court that day. I, on the other hand, was paying the hourly rate for my lawyer to be there. What could have been settled by 10:05 that morning, had the other party showed up for 10:00 when they were supposed to, wasn’t able to be settled until 11:20. It still only took five minutes to deal with, however, instead of me paying 5 minutes of my lawyer’s hourly rate, I was paying 1 hour and 20 minutes of my lawyer’s hourly rate. How much did the other party pay to be there? $0.
This is a calculated effort to inflict stress on me through incurring excess legal fees.
When our case was ready to be heard by a judge, the other party did nothing more than ask for an extension through July. This is another calculated effort to drag out the process, as the more time that passes between court dates, the more legal fees I will incur.
Thankfully, the judge did not grant the extension. However, this calculated effort to delay the process is worth noting.
Our next court date was set for May.
Between the court date in April and the court date in May, both parties were required to submit documentation to the court by certain dates. This is done so that by the time the May court date rolls around, the judge has everything needed in front of them for the ruling.
I submitted my paperwork.
The other party did not.
This is a stall tactic. If the other party provided their paperwork by the date required of them, court could proceed as scheduled on the date in May. If they did not provide the paperwork, a multitude of scenarios could have occurred, the least disruptive of which being that the date and time of the court itself takes longer in front of a justice, because one party is not cooperating. If the other party is not cooperating, I am incurring those legal fees, the other party is not.
The night before our May court date, the other party decided at 10:30 pm to send an email to my lawyer, lobbing threats my direction, unless I granted the other party a two week extension on the case.
This is a calculated effort to delay, first and foremost. It’s also a calculated effort to ensure I accrue more legal fees, as the other party is aware that when they email my lawyer, my lawyer will charge me to read it, and respond if my lawyer needs to.
The morning of our court date, one hour before court, the other party decided to send another email to my lawyer, again lobbing a threat my direction. This email demanded that my lawyer and I grant a two week extension on the case.
If we’re keeping track here, there are now two emails I am incurring the legal fees for. One sent 12 hours before court, one sent one hour before court, demanding that I provide a two-week extension to the other party. One of the threats suggested they would continue to delay this process as long as possible, essentially admitting to the fact that they are delaying this process as a means to inflict hardship.
I ignored said emails and proceeded to court the morning of our second court date.
The other party’s response to my ignoring those emails was to show up for court more than an hour late, again without a lawyer. Why? When the other party shows up an hour late, they’re aware I have had to pay my lawyer at the hourly rate to be there, while they, again, have paid $0 to be there.
Keeping in mind that, beyond gas to get to court, the other party has paid $0 in fees relating to this court matter between November and now. Actually, one could probably argue that they had to pay for food or whatever. Maybe the missed opportunity to work the date of court, I guess if you’re really trying to stretch it.
Basically, I’m already out $10,000+ dollars and they are out, at most, a few hundred dollars since November.
I was expecting that our May court date would solve one of the most major issues we’re having. I was expecting to end our May court date feeling more relief and peace than I have felt in months.
Not only did the other party show up late, but the first word’s out of their mouth when they got in front of the judge were ‘We need a two-week extension’. Requesting another delay for no other reason than to request a delay, are we noticing a pattern here?
Unfortunately for me, the judge we had on our May court date decided they were not at liberty to rule on our case, and that our case belonged in a different court. Without question, doubt, they demanded our case be taken out of their court and re-filed in a different court. More delays, that I am sure are making the other party happy.
When my lawyer asked if, because of the judge’s ruling, the judge could grant us the ability to proceed in another court without providing notice to the other party, the judge ruled that the other party needed to be provided adequate notice.
This is important because, when you file in court in this province, 20 days notice needs to be provided to the other party.
I waited this 20 days in March for our April date.
My lawyer was trying to suggest that, because the other party was present in court, they would be aware that we were refiling in another court, so that 20 days notice would be redundant. The judge ruled 20 days was still required.
Okay, so I now have to file paperwork to provide the other party notice that I am filing in a different court and wait 20 days before I can file. From there, I will get a court date at some point in the next 2-3 months.
The other party is getting exactly what they want at this point in time.
The other party has zero intentions of getting a lawyer, so they are simply going to keep this clock running and ensure I am paying the most legal fees possible. I’m sure the other party is pretty happy with this.
Further to this, because I am filing in a different court, I am required to get the other party’s signature on the paperwork acknowledging the filing.
Do we think the other party is going to sign this paperwork?
I mentioned this to a friend last night and my friend mentioned that it’s very likely the other party waits until 19 days are up and at 10:30 pm will send more threatening emails to my lawyer asking for an extension.
I bet that my friend is probably right with that prediction.
20 days will be June 17th.
Does anyone have any predictions on if I hear from the other party ahead of June 17th?
On June 17th, if I have not heard back, I am able to file without signature. At that point in time, it will be two-three weeks for a date in chambers to determine a court date in 2-3 months time. What does this mean? By the time the process of getting the new court date is acquired it’ll likely be August or September.
The other party will have delayed this process from March, to August.
From November to September, the other party will have incurred all of zero dollars in fees relating to this case. How much money will I have spent to try and remove myself from this situation the only way I am told is possible, through the legal system? That total is yet to be determined.
I could drop my lawyer, what people are telling me to do.
Would that really be safe or smart though?
The other party clearly feels emboldened through this process if they are willing to send threatening emails to my lawyer. What’s going to happen to me if I don’t have a lawyer serving as an intermediary between us?
Basically, the other party has determined that rather than partaking in this process and letting me out of the situation in which they have caused, the other party is going to hold me hostage within the legal system to drain my bank account, cause me even more stress than has already been present in my life, and hope that I eventually cater to their demands.
Does anyone else see issues with this?
Am I ever going to be able to break free from the other party?