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Old 12-17-2010, 02:45 PM   #1
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Judge ridicules former couple in family court

In family court, a judge turns to ridicule to defuse the rage - The Globe and Mail

Excerpts:

Quote:
Faced with warring ex-spouses besieging one another with threats and verbal abuse and dragging their children into it too, Ontario Superior Judge Joseph Quinn resorted to the only tool he had left – a highly unusual verbal roasting.

“Paging Dr. Freud, paging Dr. Freud,” Judge Quinn began a recent judgment that has gone viral in the family-law community. “Here, a husband and wife have been marinating in a mutual hatred so intense as to surely amount to a personality disorder requiring treatment. The source of difficulties is hatred: a hardened, harmful, high-octane hatred.”

...

And he anticipates criticism of his tone: “The parties repeatedly have shown they are immune to reason. Consequently, in my decision, I have tried ridicule as a last resort.”

In a novel twist, Judge Quinn granted the wife, Catherine, sole custody of the feuding couple’s 13-year-old daughter. However, he ordered Larry to pay Catherine just a dollar a month in spousal support.

...

Alternating caustic gibes with amusing observations, Judge Quinn portrayed Catherine – a 36-year-old school caretaker – and Larry, a labourer, as vile, foul-mouthed creatures who had burned through an enormous amount of police and court time waging their futile blitzkrieg.

He said that they cannot attend their son’s ball hockey games without erupting into loud conflict, and that Catherine once tried to run over Larry with a van. “This is always a telltale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart,” Judge Quinn remarked dryly.

On three occasions, a niece of Catherine’s who is engaged to a Hells Angels biker called Larry to warn him that he would be shot dead, Judge Quinn said. “On Oct. 18, 2007, a nautical theme was added,” he remarked. “According to Larry, ‘Catherine’s sister-in-law yelled out her window that I was going to be floating in the canal dead.’”

Judge Quinn said that Larry, 38, possesses “a near-empty parenting tool box,” and was fond of venting his anger by sending Catherine insulting text messages and giving her ‘the finger’ as he drove by her home. “A finger is worth a thousand words and therefore, is particularly useful should one have a vocabulary of less than a thousand words,” Judge Quinn added.

...

He said that Catherine also warned the children several times that if they attempted to telephone their father, they would go to jail. She also once text messaged her daughter while she was on an access visit with Larry to ask: “Is dickhead there?”

Judge Quinn said that he foolishly called a four-month hiatus during the trial in the hope that Larry and Catherine could benefit from mediation. “It is touching how a trial judge can retain his naivety even after 15 years on the bench,” he said.
The judgment is really entertaining to read and very well written. Available at:

CanLII - 2010 ONSC 6568 (CanLII)

(This judge is well known in Ontario, and has written a number of extremely funny judgments including a pretty well known one regarding a fight over a lottery ticket that won $5 million.)
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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Good. I applaud that judge.

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In September of 2008, Larry was exercising access to Taylor in the home where he and Sandra reside. At one point, Taylor wanted to telephone Catherine. However, Sandra prevented her from doing so, saying: “It’s your dad’s week-end, not your mother’s.”
(Yes, because the schedule is so rigid that there's no possible way the child could contact her mom just to say hello )

Course, then again, if I were Taylor, I wouldn't want to talk to my mom if she said stuff like this:

Quote:
As it was necessary for the trial to be interrupted by the four-month hiatus already mentioned,[25] I admonished the parties on a number of matters, one of which was the importance of not denigrating the other in the presence of the children. Yet, in August of 2010 (in other words, during the hiatus), Taylor was having an access visit with Larry when she received a text message from Catherine that read: “Is dickhead[26] there?”
And that's to say nothing of the death threats and other horrifically immature behavior among supposed "adults". I get so incredibly sick and tired of hearing stories like this, and wish more judges would call these jerks out on their appalling behavior. I know divorces aren't happy occasions and the circumstances surrounding some of them can be particularly upsetting, but for god's sake, people, grow the hell up and get over yourselves. And when they drag their kids into the crap, that makes me even angrier.

If I were their kid I'd be counting down the days until I could legally emancipate myself from these nut jobs.

Angela
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:56 AM   #3
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I read the entire decision. Hilarious stuff. That man needs to leave the bench and take up writing biting social commentary for a living.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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VP, make sure you read the lottery ticket decision (read the PDF on the site, much easier to see the footnotes that way). It is his best work.

CanLII - 2009 CanLII 39065 (ON S.C.)
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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If the ticket were a child and the parties vying for custody, I would find them both unfit and bring in Family and Children’s Services.
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Mr. Mahoney argues that the plaintiff has a limited intellectual capacity and that he was easily influenced by the defendant. I do not agree that Ears was the brains of this duo.
LOL. Me-yow.

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However, the plaintiff did not have a licence either. It had been suspended for failure to pay a fine following a motor vehicle accident and a conviction for careless driving. The plaintiff maintains that he had told the defendant of the suspension and that the defendant was unconcerned.
I always like it when these discussions come up, because first off, most people never mention such things, and those that do, it's in the most casual of circumstances, it's not done as some sort of warning to the person they tell this to, as so many of the people who say that stuff try and make it seem.

And I get a kick out of the fact that some of the people involved are arguing outside a bar named Karma. The alleged drug stuff is just beautiful, too. Oy...

I gotta say, though, funny as this story was, it was also really depressing-why is it these are the sorts of people who always seem to win the big lotteries ?

Angela
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Moonlit_Angel View Post
I gotta say, though, funny as this story was, it was also really depressing-why is it these are the sorts of people who always seem to win the big lotteries ?

Angela
Maybe because they're the kind that buy lottery tickets most regularly?
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
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Maybe because they're the kind that buy lottery tickets most regularly?
Heh, yeah, that makes sense. Still, though, sucks nonetheless.

Angela
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:40 AM   #8
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VP, make sure you read the lottery ticket decision (read the PDF on the site, much easier to see the footnotes that way). It is his best work.

CanLII - 2009 CanLII 39065 (ON S.C.)

Finally found time to sit down and read this. Awesome.

A reality show, maybe...?
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