Go Away And Don’t Come Back!

May 9, 2008 Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust, Litigation, TOPICS Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

"Some day, a wise person in a position of authority will realize that a court of law is not the best forum for deciding custody and access disputes, where principles of common sense masquerade as principles of law." – Mr. Justice Joseph Quinn as quoted in the Globe and Mail.

Until that day, the fighting parents who appeared before Mr. Justice Quinn have been barred from court unless they obtain special leave.  Looking at the context, it’s hard to argue they did not earn it: 25 court orders from 12 different judges over 7 years, three contempt motions, one suspended sentence, 12 different lawyers, 2000 pages of court filings. 

An apparent lack of respect for the rulings of the Court by both litigants was a factor in this extraordinary Order.   As Mr. Justice Quinn is quoted, "[b]oth sides have shown an inability to abide by court orders such that their access to this court should be restricted by the requirement to obtain leave." 

Mr. Justice Quinn is further quoted as saying "[t]he parties have gorged on court resources as if the legal system were their private banquet table. It must not happen again,".  It is easy to forget that courts are very expensive operations: rent, upkeep and salaries.  An hour before a judge in court is not cheap for society, whether or not the litigants are represented by lawyers.  As a purely editorial comment, it is heartening to see principled recognition of this fact.

The father, perhaps unsurprisingly given the reported facts, is apparently considering an appeal.

Enjoy the weekend,

Chris Graham

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