Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


[T]he parties have repeatedly shown that they are immune to reason. Consequently, in my decision, I have tried ridicule as a last resort."
July 12, 2011 3:01 PM   Subscribe

An Ontario Family Court judge was not very happy with the parties involved in a divorce case [PDF] before him.
posted by Chrysostom (87 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Section I, paragraph 8 is a beautiful bit of self-reflection... probably doesn't really belong in a legal document.
posted by muddgirl at 3:06 PM on July 12, 2011


This was more sad than funny, until I read the section in which Catherine's family repeatedly threatened to have Larry killed, which concluded: "As can be seen, Catherine and her relatives are one-dimensional problem solvers."
posted by en forme de poire at 3:07 PM on July 12, 2011 [18 favorites]


I was very skeptical that this was real, but it's on CanLII.
posted by muddgirl at 3:08 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, right here in old St. Catharines. Who knew?
posted by davebush at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see a blog of funny/thought-provoking writing in court opinions. When I was a teenager, I had a summer job running OCR on opinions; I remember coming across some rather elegant ones.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:10 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


"[There is] evidence that Catherine "tried to run [Larry] over with a van"...always a tell-tale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart."
posted by Chipmazing at 3:12 PM on July 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


Needs more archly dry understatement (like footnote 6) and fewer bitchy personal attacks (like footnote 4).
posted by Zozo at 3:13 PM on July 12, 2011


Who says the Brits have the market cornered on dry humor?
posted by Leezie at 3:14 PM on July 12, 2011


Are the Hell's Angels easily summoned for dirty deeds or is that an empty threat?
posted by perhapses at 3:17 PM on July 12, 2011


Wow. I feel bad for these kids.
posted by ODiV at 3:19 PM on July 12, 2011 [20 favorites]


[23] On October 18th, 2007, a nautical theme was added. According to Larry, "Donna Taylor, Catherine's sister-in-law, yelled out the window that I was going to be floating in the canal dead."

[24] As can be seen, Catherine and her relatives are one-dimensional problem solvers.

posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ha! Yeah I remember this floating around law school circles last year.

Here is a few more from Slaw.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:21 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


[50] During these enforced access visits, Taylor repeatedly said to Larry: "You're not my father. Sam's my father. You're a loser." These are comments that Taylor would have parroted from Catherine, I have no doubt. They are the result of persistent, behind-the-scenes brainwashing by Catherine.
At first I thought that maybe Taylor was like 9 or something, but no. Do we really need to fall back on parental alienation to explain why a 13 year old kid would say something like this?
posted by muddgirl at 3:22 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Deep down, we're all still in seventh grade.
posted by davebush at 3:24 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Someday the kids may read it. ouch. This is kind of like the War of the Roses with kids. I feel pretty bad for the kids.
posted by theora55 at 3:26 PM on July 12, 2011


I feel pretty bad for the kids.

I think the judge does, too.

I feel pretty bad for the kids.

That's my response to nearly every acrimonious divorce I read about - I think that in the US, something like 90% of divorces involving children do not have a custody dispute, but the other 10% tend to get nasty.
posted by muddgirl at 3:27 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The second quote should have been from davebush's comment.
posted by muddgirl at 3:27 PM on July 12, 2011


I'm not sure who is to blame for the mom and dad's total lack of class: their parents or society at large.

I see this way too often in divorces and think to myself, "If these people hate each other this much, why did they get married in the first place?"

This bad behavior will probably be passed down to the kids, and through them, future generations. This erosion of civility is one of the most regrettable things to happen to our society.
posted by reenum at 3:36 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Deep down, all still in seventh grade.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:36 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally, I was gonna go with "Metafilter: A hardened, harmful, high-octane hatred."
posted by symbioid at 3:38 PM on July 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


Also, why do I feel that this is a bit applicable to our current political climate ("Hatred devours reason") Perhaps Obama should read this ruling and maybe see what wisdom he can glean from it.
posted by symbioid at 3:39 PM on July 12, 2011


MetaFilter: The jackassedness of the former has been proved.
posted by Zozo at 3:40 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This (the behavior of apparently every "adult" (ROTFL, LOL, OMG, he said "adult") involved in this case) is why I quit practicing family law after 15 years. Life's too short to be immersed in this stuff 40+ hours a week. The only thing I miss is reading spot-on opinions like these, which apparently I still get to do - thanks to MeFI.

Footnote #3 is a gem, btw.
posted by webhund at 3:42 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obviously I feel worst for the kids. But I also feel for the judge who had to sit through this entire excruciating ordeal and then write a 45 page carefully reasoned document when all he really wanted to say was "are you fucking kidding me?"
posted by TheShadowKnows at 3:43 PM on July 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


Jesus Christ, this guy should get a job as a writer! "A nautical theme was added" Ha! My god this is classic shit. I've seen other opinions like this - is there a central repo for this kind of thing, cuz if there isn't, there sure as hell should be.
posted by symbioid at 3:45 PM on July 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yep, I wish this wasn't true so I could enjoy the turns of phrase without guilt (though, as we've discussed ad nauseum in James Frey discussions -- would it be as interesting if we didn't think it was true?)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:47 PM on July 12, 2011


Simply the best legal decision I've seen to date. Such wry humor, even Scalia would be found wanting.

Also, the $1 spousal support requirement... delicious punishment for both parties, though for the wife more so than the husband.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:48 PM on July 12, 2011


Metafilter: On Octorber 18, 2007, a nautical theme was added.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:49 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This would be quite funny if parts of it didn't eerily resemble my own divorce proceeding.
posted by rocket88 at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who are these people? Apparently the guy is a garbage man, I didn't see what she does for a living. But oh those footnotes.

21 A finger is worth a thousand words and, therefore, is particularly useful should one have a vocabulary of less than a thousand words.

22 When the operator of a motor vehicle yells "jackass" at a pedestrian, the jackassedness of the former has been proved, but, at that point, it is only an accusation against the latter.

posted by charlie don't surf at 3:51 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


charlie don't surf: "Who are these people? Apparently the guy is a garbage man, I didn't see what she does for a living."

She's a part-time "caretaker for the District School Board of Niagara." It's unclear to me exactly what that would entail.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:03 PM on July 12, 2011


This is quite funny- something about the seething contempt of the footnote is comedy gold- but I'm confused why child support was not thrown out, given his reasoning for removing effectively any spousal support; it seems the ex-wife is able to match or exceed the standard of living for the children with her current situation. This to me remains a serious bug in family law...
posted by hincandenza at 4:08 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


My jerkass cousin and his wife have been split since 2005 (he walked out on her and took all the money, she was a SAHM). They have been battling ever since and last I heard, still are not divorced. Whatever poor bastard of a judge that is dealing with them, well... yeah, he could write something just like this.

I am flabbergasted at the sheer snark and honesty on the part of the judge. Brilliant. I didn't think that kind of thing was allowed in legal paperwork.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:11 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I stipulate that this was hilarious, and that the Court established full pwnership at several points (particularly in reference to Larry's "near-empty parental toolbox"). Pretty soon, though, I felt miserable for Catherine and Larry, even such as they were, because the judge's immense class privilege -- in everything from his very position to his dry, cutting humor -- makes this a heavy club to beat them with.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:12 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


caretaker for the District School Board of Niagara

She cleans classrooms. I did the very same job for the same school board one summer many years ago. The job entails much scraping of gum off the bottom of desks.
posted by davebush at 4:14 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reinforcing every bad stereotype I have about St Catherines.
posted by GuyZero at 4:16 PM on July 12, 2011


I almost want to go to law school just for the opportunity to write things like this.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:16 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This was more sad than funny, until I read the section in which Catherine's family repeatedly threatened to have Larry killed, which concluded: "As can be seen, Catherine and her relatives are one-dimensional problem solvers."

This is also the exact point at which I lost it and started laughing.
posted by spitefulcrow at 4:28 PM on July 12, 2011


Who are these people? Apparently the guy is a garbage man

A garbage man who made $81,000 in 2010. If I weren't so squeamish about vermin, I'd put in for work with the City immediately.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 4:28 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is giving the finger while driving using "a handheld communication device"? Well is it?

I know these are real people with real kids and real problems. And I think at least one of their kids will probably be toxic just like the parents, so another generation of low-level villainy and classlessness. Not to mention all the stepkids. Wow, it's something how a few people can decimate the lives of so many others.

But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate what this judge is doing. He really has a way with words. And I think he shows extraordinary insight and even some compassion for them, such as the section where he understands Larry probably was trying to make a joke when he said things his daughter interpreted as hateful. Although it is sad he asked for sole custody of his son only. Even sadder how the mother completely destroyed her daughter's relationship with dad. ARGH these people.

it seems the ex-wife is able to match or exceed the standard of living for the children with her current situation.

I don't understand why supporting them should be all her responsibility even if she is a terrible person. The child support is for them, not for her. For their education, their food, the roof over their heads, the utility bills that pay for their water and electricity. It also doesn't help that he would send her checks and then cancel them, or that he blatantly lied so much (like claiming to make 20 thousand less than he actually makes). I think it's great that the judge didn't give her anything for the extra expenses he failed to pay, even though he by all rights he should have paid them. It's reasonable for both parents to pay for things like uniforms and stuff like that, but she was so hostile she never discussed anything with him and therefore got nothing. But he shouldn't be able to bail on paying any support at all. I wish she'd have gone to jail for contempt or something for all the ways she denied him access to his children. But she's not solely responsible for them.

She left him for his best friend who has been "dining at her table of hatred", let that dude pay for her "spousal support".
posted by Danila at 4:29 PM on July 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


10% tend to get nasty.

Some get nasty because both sides demand alternate weekend visits.
posted by knoyers at 4:33 PM on July 12, 2011


Metafilter: a popular website where one registers and posts personal information.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:33 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The children -- hell, civilized society -- deserves better than this Osgoode Hall jagoff practicing his one-liners on this dreary lower middle-class couple.
posted by docgonzo at 4:36 PM on July 12, 2011


Although it is sad he asked for sole custody of his son only.

The daughter is clearly a lost cause. Even the judge doesn't think there's any way in hell that can be fixed, so why try for custody?

"She left him for his best friend who has been "dining at her table of hatred", let that dude pay for her "spousal support"."

I gather that's some of the logic behind his awarding of the money. Repeatedly he says that she could be making more money, AND she found a replacement man that makes the same amount of money and is supporting them anyway, AND the judge is so fucking fed up with the bitch's hateful behavior, alienation, death threats, etc. that the only thing he can do to punish her is take away her money. He may think Larry is a dimwit and a jerk, but Catherine is pure evil that nobody can stop.

Maybe the Hell's Angels should be sicced on everybody in here.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:39 PM on July 12, 2011


docgonzo: "this dreary lower middle-class couple."

If making $81k is 'lower middle class' then apparently I need to be on food stamps.
posted by mullingitover at 4:43 PM on July 12, 2011 [12 favorites]


It seems to me that the judge's constant snark would provide good grounds for appeal, should either of the parties want it.

There's a reason why judgements are expected to be dry.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:48 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Despite the involvement of Niagara Family and Children's Services, Ms. Katz, Mr. Leduc and the court, the parties repeatedly have shown that they are immune to reason. Consequently, in my decision, I have tried ridicule as a last resort"

good stuff
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:02 PM on July 12, 2011


This is kind of like the War of the Roses with kids.

If memory serves me right, the titular Roses did have kids.
posted by Gelatin at 5:15 PM on July 12, 2011


Love reading decisions by wordsmiths. My favorite was Justice Carlin. One of his famous (though most of his were good) was Cordas v. Peerless Transp. Co. The following is JUST the description of the facts (excuse the long quote):

This case presents the ordinary man-that problem child of the law-in a most bizarre setting. As a lowly chauffeur in defendant’s employ he became in a trice the protagonist in a breach-bating drama with a denouement almost tragic. It appears that a man, whose identity it would be indelicate to divulge, was feloniously relieved of his portable goods by two nondescript highwaymen in an alley near 26th Street and Third Avenue, Manhattan; they induced him to relinquish his possessions by a strong argument ad hominem couched in the convincing cant of the criminal and pressed at the point of a most persuasive pistol. Laden with their loot, but not thereby impeded, they took an abrupt departure and he, shuffling off the coil of that discretion which enmeshed him in the alley, quickly gave chase through 26th Street toward 2d Avenue, whither they were resorting ‘with expedition swift as thought’ for most obvious reasons. Somewhere on that thoroughfare of escape they indulged the stratagem of separation ostensibly to disconcert their pursuer and allay the ardor of his pursuit. He then centered on for capture the man with the pistol whom he saw board defendant’s taxicab, which quickly veered south toward 25th Street on 2d Avenue where he saw the chauffeur jump out while the cab, still in motion, continued toward 24th Street; after the chauffeur relieved himself of the cumbersome burden of his fare the latter also is said to have similarly departed from the cab before it reached 24th Street. The chauffeur’s story is substantially the same except that he states that his uninvited guest boarded the cab at 25th Street while it was at a standstill waiting for a less colorful fare; that his ‘passenger’ immediately advised him ‘to stand not upon the order of his going but to go at once’ and added finality to his command by an appropriate gesture with a pistol addressed to his sacro iliac. The chauffeur in reluctant acquiescence proceeded about fifteen feet, when his hair, like unto the quills of the fretful porcupine, was made to stand on end by the hue and cry of the man despoiled accompanied by a clamourous concourse of the law-abiding which paced him as he ran; the concatenation of ‘stop thief’, to which the patter of persistent feet did maddingly beat time, rang in his ears as the pursuing posse all the while gained on the receding cab with its quarry therein contained. The hold-up man sensing his insecurity suggested to the chauffeur that in the event there was the slightest lapse in obedience to his curt command that he, the chauffeur, would suffer the loss of his brains, a prospect as horrible to an humble chauffeur as it undoubtedly would be to one of the intelligentsia. The chauffeur apprehensive of certain dissolution from either Scylla, the pursuers, or Charybdis, the pursued, quickly threw his car out of first speed in which he was proceeding, pulled on the emergency, jammed on his brakes and, although he thinks the motor was still running, swung open the door to his left and jumped out of his car. He confesses that the only act that smacked of intelligence was that by which he jammed the brakes in order to throw off balance the hold-up man who was half-standing and half-sitting with his pistol menacingly poised. Thus abandoning his car and passenger the chauffeur sped toward 26th Street and then turned to look; he saw the cab proceeding south toward 24th Street where it mounted the sidewalk. The plaintiff-mother and her two infant children were there injured by the cab which, at the time, appeared to be also minus its passenger who, it appears, was apprehended in the cellar of a local hospital where he was pointed out to a police officer by a remnant of the posse, hereinbefore mentioned. He did not appear at the trial. The three aforesaid plaintiffs and the husband-father sue the defendant for damages predicating their respective causes of action upon the contention that the chauffeur was negligent in abandoning the cab under the aforesaid circumstances. Fortunately the injuries sustained were comparatively slight.


The rest of his decision is equally full of this awesomeness.
posted by Jezebella at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


Danila: I don't understand why supporting them should be all her responsibility even if she is a terrible person. The child support is for them, not for her. For their education, their food, the roof over their heads, the utility bills that pay for their water and electricity.
Right, and this is outside the scope of this judgment, but I'm thinking in terms of a need test. Since Sam is apparently happy to support the children using his own income- including an attempt to adopt not 4 months after he started dating the ex-wife?- then why should the spouse who only gets visitation every other weekend pay anything towards their day to day support? Or if he should pay something, it should ideally be should be paid mutually by each spouse into escrow, and disbursed to cover the actual costs aiding the child (such as a set amount to cover the extra utilities in housing another person for the time each spouse has custody, whether for 22 or 8 days a month; costs for toys, gifts, and school/irregular expenses like field trips, sports uniforms, allowances, etc).

To me, if you push for sole custody with only visitation rights... you're kind of claiming that you can support them. Otherwise it seems like spousal and child support are (as is likely in this case) not about the child, with the funds not going to help the child, but rather an attempt to "win" by getting the kids and making the 'rat-bastard of an ex' pay money to boot.

I am of course biased on this topic, having watched my mostly decent, middle-class parents have to sue their own unfit addict daughter to get custody of their grandkids- who they had been raising predominantly for years already while she kept "trying to get her life together". My sister of course then pushed for a one-time "buyout" payment and recurring monthly allowance to cover the cost of her visitation... which the paternal courts of South Carolina saw as just and fair, with her being the biological mother and all. It seems the courts are still quite trapped in out-moded gender and class stratifications.
posted by hincandenza at 5:22 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


In my financial valuation class the professor told us many stories about adventures in financial valuation for family court. I offer now her advice for finance people looking to do side work in valuing assets for family court - don't. Unless you like getting screamed at in open court and having things thrown at you, which personally I would prefer to avoid.

She also had us review a bunch of divorce proceedings with valuations. In one memorable case, the woman appealed the decision based on the (wackmobile!) valuation method used by her former husband's chosen expert witness in asset valuation. The end result was that she did win and got an additional two thousand dollars added to her judgment. Of course, I am pretty sure that the cost of going to court for the appeal cost far more than two grand, so she really lost. Everyone lost.
posted by winna at 5:24 PM on July 12, 2011


Everybody losing is the sine qua non of the Family Court.

Lawyers excepted, naturally.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:29 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hincandenza, the reason is because the children deserve the support of their father, whether they objectively "need" it or not, even if the father is denied not only custody but visitation. Child support isn't the ticket price you pay for seeing your kids. At least in my state, parents can't waive support for their children from a non-custodial spouse; they can elect not to collect it, but the state considers it owed regardless. If Sam had adopted the children, then they would be legally his children, not Larry's, and Larry would owe no further support.
posted by KathrynT at 5:36 PM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What if the subjects of THIS post show up as MeFites and start commenting, as sometimes happens. Now that would be a spectacle.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:41 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Slackermagee: Simply the best legal decision I've seen to date. Such wry humor, even Scalia would be found wanting.



PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661 (2001) (Scalia, J., dissenting):

"If one assumes, however, that the PGA TOUR has some legal obligation to play classic, Platonic golf–and if one assumes the correctness of all the other wrong turns the Court has made to get to this point–then we Justices must confront what is indeed an awesome responsibility. It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,” U.S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 3, to decide What Is Golf. I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer? The answer, we learn, is yes. The Court ultimately concludes, and it will henceforth be the Law of the Land, that walking is not a “fundamental” aspect of golf."
posted by Han Tzu at 5:44 PM on July 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thank you so much for posting this.
I'm an attorney, not in a family law practice, but every once in awhile, I get assigned to a contested divorce case if the client is a friend of the boss or something. I find it absolute hell. Reading that opinion makes it more bearable.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:46 PM on July 12, 2011


I am aware that under the Family Law Rules, Application, Answer - Claim by Respondent and Reply do not begin with capital letters. However, I prefer otherwise.

Now who's being a law onto [sic] themself?
posted by doublehappy at 5:46 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


What happens when children get "spilt" up?
posted by doublehappy at 5:49 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love well-written legal documents anyway, but some of this is just simple delicious:
I find that Sandra does not exert a positive gravitational pull in this dysfunctional family constellation
posted by Deathalicious at 6:00 PM on July 12, 2011


the judge's immense class privilege

And a decidely deserved privilege it would seem.
posted by eeeeeez at 6:16 PM on July 12, 2011


Jezebella

Cordas v. Peerless is indeed hilarious. I like where he talks about Hamlet for like a paragraph and the phrase "fleshy tablets of sentient creation".
posted by Winnemac at 6:28 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just down the road, in the town of Niagara Falls, is a veritable plethora of strip clubs. I fear the daughter is destined to be employed there. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by rocket88 at 6:44 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I suspect these people are from Merritton, the same area of St. Catharines where this went down. Not the most upscale part of my fair city.
posted by davebush at 7:07 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canadian judges are not elected. I think it makes a difference.
posted by fredludd at 7:32 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Taylor and Brandon. Yup, we are in Ontario in the mid-90s.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:41 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


docgonzo: "this dreary lower middle-class couple."

If making $81k is 'lower middle class' then apparently I need to be on food stamps.


By "lower middle-class" he means, "white trash." White trash transcends economic boundaries.
posted by klanawa at 8:00 PM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This divorce is uglier than mine was and mine was plenty ugly.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:36 PM on July 12, 2011


Judge has certainly got a handle on what Facebook's about.
posted by eritain at 12:29 AM on July 13, 2011


The PDF won't open for me.

Here's an HTML version.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:40 AM on July 13, 2011


Oh St. Catharines. Could you please stop making it so easy for GTA folks to mock you?

(disclosure: born in St Catharines, much family there. Haven't lived there for 25 years, have no intention of ever move back)
posted by antifuse at 6:23 AM on July 13, 2011


Also, the $1 spousal support requirement... delicious punishment for both parties, though for the wife more so than the husband.

Isn't $1 per month more than what was outlined in the separation agreement ($1 annually)? I suppose that's why it is a punishment for the husband. Gosh, a whole $36.
posted by muddgirl at 7:01 AM on July 13, 2011


"[There is] evidence that Catherine "tried to run [Larry] over with a van"...always a tell-tale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart."

Relevant: You Don't Love Me Anymore by Weird Al Yankovic.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:41 AM on July 13, 2011


hincandenza: To me, if you push for sole custody with only visitation rights... you're kind of claiming that you can support them.

except you go on to say: ... having watched my mostly decent, middle-class parents have to sue their own unfit addict daughter to get custody of their grandkids .... having money should NOT be the determinent of who the better parent is. sometimes the one with no money (i.e., no visible means of support) actually IS the better parent.


KathrynT: Hincandenza, the reason is because the children deserve the support of their father, whether they objectively "need" it or not, even if the father is denied not only custody but visitation.

i'm sorry, that is just sad. i've seen divorced men who are barely one step ahead of living in a van down by the river so they can meet financial obligations imposed by the courts. money does NOT equal love, and unless that stricture is a 2-way street (imposed equally on mothers when custody is denied them) then the argument, to me, is ridiculous.
posted by msconduct at 8:46 AM on July 13, 2011


msconduct, if a divorced man is unable to meet his court-imposed financial obligations without it being a crippling burden, then yes, those obligations should be reduced, but not eliminated. That's an entirely different conversation. Gender bias in the family courts is a real thing, and it's a real problem, but it doesn't mean that the non-custodial parent should be cut financially out of the children's lives just because the custodial parent has a high household income.

Money doesn't equal love, but the courts can't legislate love. The best they can do is to legislate involvement, in the form of support and access.
posted by KathrynT at 9:51 AM on July 13, 2011


MetaFilter: Not shy about splattering our spleens through cyberspace.
posted by brokkr at 10:41 AM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661 (2001) (Scalia, J., dissenting):

One of the very, very rare times I agree with Scalia.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:46 AM on July 13, 2011


Everyone lost.

Except the lawyers, as usual.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:47 AM on July 13, 2011


[21] On August 13, 2007, Catherine’s niece (Donna), telephoned Larry “and told me I will get a bullet in my head if I don’t sign the adoption papers. She called back later and told me I’m as good as dead.” She called a third time, “to tell me her father and uncles are coming to kill me.”[9]

[9] Donna is a devotee of the literary device known as, “repetition for emphasis.” I do not know whether Donna is the niece who is engaged to the Hells Angels member. If she is, they may be more compatible than I initially surmised

hehe
posted by Tarumba at 11:45 AM on July 13, 2011


The judge is on an unprofessional ego-trip. As much as I may personally enjoy a colorful interlude from the 99.87% relentlessly boring legal world, I can't see either side of this dispute, or the state, being at all helped by this judge's unsolicited and overreaching editorial. Real life is not TV. The judicial bench is not the place to exercise one's failed dream of being a novelist or comedian.
posted by applemeat at 12:30 PM on July 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Question, since I can't be arsed reading the whole long thing - all these death threats that he received, his ex trying to run him over with a car - did the police investigate any of this? Was anybody ever charged?
posted by antifuse at 12:31 PM on July 13, 2011


I can't find it any more (the PDF did not OCR in the correct format) but the judge mentions that the police have been called by various parties several times (the alleged death threats and attempted vehicular manslaughter get the most attention, but we must note that Larry is not exactly a pearl among men either).
posted by muddgirl at 12:47 PM on July 13, 2011


The judge made a comment along the lines that the parties had "wasted police resources" something like 20 times in 18 months.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:24 PM on July 13, 2011


I'll have to dig out my legal records. After three years of being dragged through court over supposed ritual satanic abuse of my children (I was raising them Wiccan), the judge had quite a lot of tasty things to say about the three parties persecuting us. About a two inch stack of papers filled with interesting judicial insights.

Oh yeah, we were not under attack tho he did note his pity for me, my then husband, our two young children, five police officers and three Child Protective Services workers for the three years of torment by those lunatics.

(The verbal portion of that last court meeting was even better!)
posted by _paegan_ at 4:38 PM on July 13, 2011


something like 20 times in 18 months.

Within an order of magnitude, but: "On fourteen occasions, within eighteen months, the parties drew the police into their petty disagreements ..."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:51 PM on July 13, 2011


The judicial bench is not the place to exercise one's failed dream of being a novelist or comedian.

Why not? The judge comprehensively and fairly answered each issue of the case. Looking at the facts it's pretty clear that some elements of the case weren't triable and the judge disposed of those elements with good humour. What's the problem? Shall we reduce every judgment to a one line outcome for fear a judge might use a colourful phrase?

Lord Denning's dissenting judgment in Miller v Jackson is wrong in law, but the world is better for the way he made it.
posted by doublehappy at 9:07 PM on July 13, 2011


There is a third way to deal with this kind of situation.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:08 PM on July 13, 2011


Now all I want to do is have a few glasses of red and watch Idiocracy again and go to bed weeping.
posted by flabdablet at 3:47 AM on July 16, 2011


« Older An English couple weds in a Colonial Africa themed...  |  Jeff Stone, a politician from ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments