There are things that you can do -- that you must do as soon as
The Provincial PC party is continuing the feminist, socialist policies of the NDP, treating all men as villains.
This is a huge and repressive change to our justice system, with no warning: where is the bill, where are the hearings, the parliamentary debate, the vote of parliament?
Where is the democracy in this? Answer: the democracy is where you put it. If you don't make the province act fairly and democratically, it simply won't happen!
Please get yourself informed by downloading the rules from either of the following sites (almost any modern word processor you have can read the WordPerfect files downloaded from these sites!):
You can also read the files through your browser (not very practical
It's a group of 25 or 30 people drawn exclusively from the legal profession (judges and lawyers, and 2 from courts administration), who make the rules for the family courts in Ontario. They get their power from the Ontario Courts of Justice Act, sections 67 and 68.
IT LOOKS INNOCENT ENOUGH, just a friendly gang of regulators (and some of the changes are good), but when they slam the door in father's faces by introducing something as vicious as Loser Pays, they become a shadow government of the pros, by the pros, and for the pros.
It is disturbing that some of the committee members appear to be radical feminists. It would be very wrong to have strong advocates of only one ideology in the committee, and no balancing advocates.
Time's up, but the battle is far from over! A team within the Ontario Wisdom Council continues to work on changing the rules. We won't publish our plans, but please be ready to help again soon!
The Family Rules Committee extended the deadline for "well-considered comments" until "mid-June" 1997. Comments arriving after June 20 may be discarded.
The Old Instructions:
Accept the Family Rules Committee's offer! Send in your comments! Reply by June 20, at the latest.
Roman Komar, Research Counsel
2A The Market Place
East York, Ont.
What’s Wrong with the New Family Law Rules - The “High” Points:
They Kill Access to Justice:
They Preserve Most of the Old Evils:
If They “Work”, Other Provinces Will Use Them!
The process of making the new rules take effect is this (some technical details are left out):
As important as they are, the rules are not laws, they are just regulations, so they will be changed by cabinet without any vote in parliament.
We're asking every group to do the following :
WE GET 2 SHOTS AT THIS ISSUE: one by submitting comments by mid-June, and the other by communicating with the government.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE! With Bill C-41, and worse with Bill C-92, we got informed at the last minute of the day, but we've been warned about these new rules at the eleventh hour, and there is still time to act!
The Ontario Wisdom Council is a loose association of groups that share a belief that the family law system is seriously biased and flawed, in a way that is damaging to children and to everyone else in the family.
HEART has discussed this emergency with the Ontario Wisdom Council, and taken the job of collecting facts and ideas for coordinated action.
HEART researchers are studying the question of how much information we will get about the committee's work studying the public comments.
Send a representative of your group to the Ontario Wisdom Council meeting (the first Thursday of each month, 7:30pm, at Toronto City Hall, corner of Bay and Queen -- enter the main doors from the plaza, and ask security for the location of the "HEART" meeting).
Can you help with research, emailing, Faxing? If you can do any of these, please contact us at email@example.com.
FAMILY LAW RULES
These draft rules are being circulated for comment by the Family Rules Committee, established under Ontario's Courts of Justice Act. Comments are requested by 1 May 1997 [this deadline has since been extended to mid-June --e.t.].
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO THE PROCEDURE 1. Applicant chooses where to start the case. a) Must generally be where a party lives or, in a custody and access case, where the child lives (rule 34). b) Parties can agree on another place but must get court's permission in advance (rule 34). c) All steps (filings, motions, hearings) are where case is started (rule 35) until the enforcement stage, unless case is transferred (rule 39). 2. Applicant starts case by issuing application. a) Only one kind of originating document (rule 64). b) Simple, easy to use form (Form 64). Can also accommodate large, complex case. c) Application contains first court date (rule 66). d) But if only a divorce is claimed, court date is not set until case is defended (rule 67). 3. Financial statement (Form 102) must be filed with application in support or property case (rule 102). a) Can be ordered by court in custody/access case (rule 103). b) Must attach latest tax return or direction to Revenue Canada to release it (rule 106). c) Must be corrected as information comes to light and updated as information changes (rule 112). 4. Continuing court record created when application filed (rule 75). a) All documents are filed in this record up to trial (rule 78). b) When case goes to trial, trial record is prepared with only documents needed for trial (rule 217). 5. Applicant serves application by "special service" (rule 43). a) Special service includes personal service and service on a lawyer. 6. Late filing of documents not permitted without court order (rule 18). 7. Respondent has 30 days to serve and file answer (rule 89). a) Time for answer is 60 days if respondent served outside Canada and the United States (rule 89). b) If no answer, case goes by default hearing on first court date. c) If no answer to case claiming only a divorce, undefended divorce goes automatically to a judge with affidavit evidence (rule 411). 8. Respondent defends by serving answer (rule 89). a) Simple, easy to use form (Form 89). Can also accommodate large, complex cases. b) Can include a claim by respondent against applicant or any other person (rule 90). c) If case involves support or property, financial statement (Form 102) required with answer (rule 102). 9. Motion for temporary order can be served anytime. a) Minimum notice period is 3 days (rule 120). b) Motion can be without notice if notice unnecessary or not reasonably possible, if immediate danger to a child or party or if service would have serious consequences (rule 121). c) Financial statement more than 30 days old must be redone (rule 111). d) Telephone and video conference motions available as of right. Initiating party responsible for arrangements (rule 117). 10. Planning meeting scheduled with a judge in every defended case (rule 131). a) Purposes are to narrow issues, consider ADR, schedule case events (rule 132). 11. Each party must disclose all relevant documents on request (rule 157). a) Documents must be produced or copied on request (rule 157, 158). b) Omissions or errors must be corrected (rule 163). 12. Questioning of parties before trial (examination for discovery or cross-examination on affidavit) available only by consent or by court order (rule 167). 13. Offer to settle must be signed by party making it as well as party's lawyer (rule 149). 14. Settlement conference held if judge directs it (rule 130). a) Expected to occur in vast majority of cases. b) Settlement conference briefs required (rule 142), to be returned after conference (rule 145). 15. Trial management conference held if judge directs (rule 130). 16. Trial cannot be heard by judge who heard contested motion for temporary order (rule 128) or conducted planning meeting or settlement conference (rule 147). 17. Costs to be decided at each step of case by judge hearing that step (rule 247). a) Costs intended to allow full recovery of all expenses (rule 246), including party's lost wages or credits, travel and child care (rule 256). b) Successful party entitled to costs (rule 248) unless party has behaved unreasonably (rule 250). c) Offers and behaviour in relation to case, including before case started, taken into account (rule 253). 18. Successful party prepares draft order for approval by other parties and signature by court staff (rule 249). a) If successful party has no lawyer or if order not prepared in 10 days, other party can prepare order (rule 265). b) If no party has a lawyer, court staff will prepare it (rule 266). c) If party fails to approve draft order in 5 days, order may be signed without approval (rule 270). d) Orders must be served on all parties (rule 274). 19. Rules place major emphasis on enforcement measures. a) Enforcement takes place generally where recipient resides (rule 36) or, for custody/access order, where the child resides (rule 37). b) Recipient can require financial statement from payor in default (rule 294). c) Recipient can require income source to provide information about payor (rule 300). d) Recipient can require payor to come to financial examination (rule 304). e) Refusal to come to financial examination punishable by 40 days in jail (rule 312). f) Garnishment available to seize joint bank accounts and other joint debts (rule 340). g) Payor can be required to come to court for default hearing, just as under Family Support Plan Act, including in General Division (rules 360, 361). h) Procedure for receivers (rules (196-214) and contempt orders (rules 371-380) set out clearly.
67.--(1) The committee known as the Family Rules Committee is continued under the name Family Rules Committee in English and Comité des en matière de droit de la famille in French. R.S.O. 1990 c. C.43, s. 67 (1).
(2) The Family Rules Committee is composed of,
(a) the Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice of Ontario;
(b) the Chief Justice and associate chief justices of the Superior Court of Justice;
(c) the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice or, at his or her designation, an associate chief justice;
(d) one judge of the Court of Appeal, who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of Ontario;
(e) two judges of the Superior Court of Justice, who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice;
(f) two judges of the Family Court, the Superior Court of Justice, or the Ontario Court of Justice, who shall be appointed by the Associate Chief Justice (Family Court);
(g) two judges of the Ontario Court of Justice, who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of that court;
(h) the Attorney General or a person designated by the Attorney General;
(i) one law officer of the Crown, who shall be appointed by the Attorney General;
(j) two persons employed in the administration of the courts, who shall be appointed by the Attorney General;
(k) four lawyers, who shall be appointed by The Law Society of Upper Canada;
(l) two lawyers, who shall be appointed by the Associate Chief Justice (Family Court);
(m) two lawyers, who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.
(n) two lawyers, who shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice. (Amended Bill 79).
(3) The Chief Justice of Ontario shall preside over the Family Rules Committee but, if the Chief Justice of Ontario is absent or so requests, member designated by the Chief Justice shall preside.
(4) Each of the members of the Family Rules Committee appointed under clauses (2)(d), (e), (f), (g), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m) and (n) shall hold office for period of three years and is eligible for reappointment. (Amended Bill 79)
(5) Where a vacancy occurs among the members appointed under clause (2)(d), (e), (f), (g), (i), (j), (k), (l), (m) or (n), a new member similarly may be appointed for the remainder of the unexpired term. (Amended Bill 79).
(6) One-third of the members of the Family Rules Committee constitutes a quorum. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, s. 67 (3)-(6).
68.--(1) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the Family Rules Committee may make rules for the Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice in relation to the practice and procedure of those courts in proceedings under provisions set out in the Schedule to Part III (Unified Family Court), except proceedings under the Young Offenders Act (Canada).
(2) Subsections 66 (2) and (3) apply with necessary modifications to the Family Rules Committee making rules for the courts described in (1).
(3) The rules made by the Family Rules Committee may adopt, modify or exclude the rules made by the Civil Rules Committee.
(4) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the Family Rules Committee may prepare rules for the purpose of section 68 the Young Offenders Act (Canada) for consideration by the Ontario Court of Justice. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, s. 68.