Tuesday, August 07, 2012

This is the way a lawsuit ends ... not with a bang but a whimper.

Final update as of December 4, 2012: Submitted without comment.

(UPDATE, AUG 11: Scroll to bottom.)

I've tried to stay above this fray and let the legal proceedings properly play themselves out, but I've become increasingly irritated with the asinine misinformation that's currently being spewed by a couple dimwits who should know better, so while I will do my best to remain mature about this, I'm going to  emphatically correct the record.  And at the end of this post, I'll have homework for you, so stick around.

If you have no idea what this is all about, this will hit the highlights, and way more detail can be found in the most recent posts at this very blog.  I have no intention of being tediously repetitive, but I'll make sure there's no confusion about what we're discussing here; that is, that mouthy U of Alberta frat boi Patrick "Kid Cash Thunderbolt Nexus of Assholery" Ross, in late 2010, was found to have defamed me (maliciously so, I might add), to the extent that I was awarded $75,000 in general damages and an additional $10,000 in costs by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Now, just to dampen the suspense, let me assure you that that judgment (long since registered in Patrick Ross' home province of Alberta for the purpose of enforcement) is still in effect, so absolutely nothing has changed with respect to the fact that Patrick Ross now owes me around $90,000, but that's not why we're here.  No, let's talk about that annoying misinformation.

First, there's the rumour (perpetrated by someone who should know better) that since this was a "default" judgment -- given that Patrick Ross, for whatever reason, chose not to file a defence -- my Statement of Claim was never judged on its "merits," and that I was somehow gifted with this judgment just by having my lawyer show up in court.  This is rubbish.

This bit of idiocy was first proposed by an online personality who goes by the handle of "Marky Mark", whose nad-grinding, thigh-sucking ignorance of simple Canadian law is made even more astonishing by the fact that he is apparently an actual practicing lawyer.  Early in this process, many, many educated people attempted to explain the concept of a "default judgment" to Marky, apparently to no avail, perhaps leaving readers back then with the impression that I just massively lucked out.  If you don't understand what nonsense this is, feel free to chat with someone who has a proper legal education, and I'm sure they will set you straight as I'm not inclined to spend the time doing that.  The judgment -- as you can read -- was unambiguous: I was not only defamed, but I was defamed maliciously.  So saith the Ontario Superior Court of  Justice.  End of discussion.  But we're not done here.  Back to the misinformation.

Unbelievably, even more idiotic misinformation was disseminated by the aforementioned Marky Mark -- to wit, that I, being the dastardly successful businessman that I am, had taken advantage of a naive, unprepared university undergraduate who was simply overwhelmed by the "complexities" of the Canadian legal system.  Let me put that myth to rest, if I may.

It's actually easily discoverable on the Intertoobz that, at the time of this writing, malicious defamer Patrick Ross is 31 years old, by which one can easily deduce that he was, at the very least, in his late 20s when he began his online campaign of blatant defamation against me, so trying to dismiss Patrick Ross' online smears of me as some sort of youthful indiscretion doesn't really hold up.  Add to that that it wasn't just a single libel of me, but month after month after relentless month of accusations of my criminality.  (When my lawyer finally served Blogger Support with the judgment to facilitate the removal of any and all blog posts of Patrick's referring to me, there were well in excess of 200 of them.  I leave it to the reader to judge the creepy obsessiveness of Patrick's smear campaign.)

As for Marky Mark's plaintive lament that Patrick Ross was somehow blindsided by the "complexities" of the legal system, well, hello, that's what lawyers are for, which is why I hired one -- because I am not an idiot.  Patrick Ross, on the other hand, lost no opportunity to publicly brag about his dizzying legal intellect and how, with his years of undergraduate education, he was, all by his lonesome, going to thrash me soundly in a court of law.  At which point he failed to file a Statement of Defence and, in short, it ended badly for him.  So to paint Patrick Ross as a dimwitted young'un who had no idea what he was getting into, well, that scenario falls apart pretty quickly.  But we're not done here.  Oh no, not yet.

As anyone who has been following this sordid saga knows, I have spent the last year and a half chasing Patrick Ross around Alberta in order to enforce this judgment, and Patrick has made it anything but easy.  I'm not going to get into details of the legal pleadings that have gone back and forth, but since it's in the public record if one would but look, I feel safe in mentioning that Patrick, because of his stupidity or intransigence, now owes me another $2,000+ in court costs for simply failing to obey the Court's instructions, and he has been found in Contempt of Court once already.  But that's not the capper.

The most egregious misrepresentation recently is Patrick Ross' public bragging that he has (in some unexplained and mysterious way) checked with a lawyer, and has been told that he doesn't need to pay me.  Let me assure you that that boasting comes as a complete surprise to my lawyer and myself, since neither of us have any idea what sort of legal wizardry would lead one to that conclusion.  Let me recap:  I was awarded a default judgment in November of 2010, and Patrick Ross has spent the time since then knowing fully the details of that judgment, and doing absolutely nothing about it.  If you don't understand the consequences of what I just wrote, I suggest you ask a lawyer buddy.  And there's one more point.

On at least one occasion, Patrick Ross has publicly promised that he has absolutely no intention of paying a penny of this judgment.  (And as of right now, that's precisely what he's paid -- not a penny.)  Patrick's position is that this judgment is terribly, terribly unfair and expensive, which is a fairly novel legal defence.  However, Patrick's personal outrage aside, I can once again assure you that the judgment is solidly intact, and it's not going anywhere, so until Patrick can come up with what he owes me, his life is going to be fairly uncomfortable as this judgment will follow him wherever he goes.  And here's your homework assignment.

Rumour has it that Patrick might be relocating from Edmonton back to his home planet of Lloydminster, AB, and this is where you come in.  Since no one trusts Patrick to come clean about any new employment he gets, if you happen to run across Patrick and he has a new job and actual income, by all means, drop me a note at canadiancynic@yahoo.ca.  Since Patrick Ross has made it clear he's not going to deal with this judgment voluntarily, the only option I have left is to have the courts deal with it for me.

Once upon a time, Patrick Ross had more than enough chances to make this ugliness go away quietly, and he chose to double down each time and make things worse.  Patrick Ross made his bed, then proceeded to shit in it over and over and over; now he's complaining about the smell.  That's unfortunate, but it represents choices Patrick Ross made all on his own.

As of right now, Patrick Ross owes me in the neighbourhood of $90,000, and that amount is increasing by the day.  And I'm pretty sure Patrick refusing to pay it simply because he doesn't want to isn't going to end well for one of us.

So if you run into Patrick (Twitter: @OutlawTory) Ross, say hi, and ask him when he thinks he's going to start paying up.  Because not paying is simply not an option.

P.S.  While I'm going to leave the comments section open, I will absolutely not tolerate anyone attempting to retry this case.  It's over, I have my judgment and that's the end of it.  If you want to argue about the legal machinations and why you disagree with them, take it elsewhere.  I'm just not interested.

UPPITY DATE (AUG 11, 2012): Yesterday was a rather amusing day in the Twitter-sphere, as numerous excitable folk piled on malicious defamer Patrick Ross for, well, being so stupid and/or incompetent and/or arrogant as to have never filed a Statement of Defence in the legal action under discussion.  Patrick's excuse for this devastating oversight was so eye-rollingly disingenuous that it needs to have its panties yanked down and spanked in public.  (Nothing here is going to be new information, I will just be summarizing what's already out there in the public domain.)

As I once explained here, Patrick Ross was given oodles and heaps and loads of time to properly file his defence.  Given that an inter-provincial Statement of Claim allows the respondent 40 days for such a filing, my lawyer was more than generous in giving Ross a full three months to get his ducks in a row and whip something up that the Court would find acceptable.  After those three months, and not having heard a peep from said respondent during the last month of that, my Ontario lawyer gave up and properly filed to place Patrick Ross in default and the rest, as they say, is legal history.

As you can read at that link above, Patrick Ross claims that he did file a defence, but openly admits that he did it incorrectly and (as is his pattern) currently blames someone else -- "incorrect instructions from a court clerk."  As I have explained and documented before, after dicking around and wasting everyone's time, Patrick Ross was given a hard deadline of September 15, 2010 to file a defence.  And as you can see, in a demonstration of stupefying bone-headedness, Patrick Ross apparently chose to wait until that very last day to make the attempt, guaranteeing that if anything at all went wrong, he would be totally and utterly screwed.  But wait ... there's more.

Once Patrick Ross learned of his colossal fuck-up, the obvious reaction from a sane human being would normally be to scramble to try to set things right, and file (properly, perhaps with the assistance of an actual lawyer) to overturn ASAP.  And as you can read from that earlier link, Patrick Ross chose not to do that.  Rather, he chose to simply disappear from view without making the slightest attempt to salvage the situation.  Again, that was Patrick's self-represented choice, and a colossally stupid one it was.  But here's the capper.

During all of this, since the very beginning in early 2010 when Patrick Ross was served with a Notice of Libel, Patrick chose not to hire a lawyer, which was his right.  And in all that time, Patrick Ross bragged publicly to one and all about his razor-sharp legal mind, suggesting he didn't need a lawyer.  But here's the thing -- if you choose to forego educated and competent legal counsel, you don't then get to complain about how badly things went because you got "incorrect instructions from a court clerk."  It doesn't work that way.

Put more succinctly, if you choose to represent yourself in court, you really shouldn't then complain about getting unbelievably stupid legal advice.

P.S.  And I notice practicing lawyer and attention whore "Marky Mark" is still carrying Patrick Ross' water.  And, yes, that's a euphemism.  And we may not be done with "Marky Mark" here.

P.P.S. While this might seem like piling on unnecessarily, a couple more observations would appear to be in order.  First, despite Patrick Ross' open admission that he's been aware of this default judgment for well over a year, he has never filed to overturn, despite promising to do so on a number of occasions.

In addition, both of my lawyers -- the Ontario lawyer who won my judgment, and the Alberta lawyer who is representing me in the enforcement proceedings -- have, on my instruction, strongly encouraged Patrick Ross to hire a lawyer to represent him.  To this day, he does not appear to have taken that advice, with unsurprising results.

If more misinformation continues to be spewed, I will deal with it appropriately.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll ask -- if Patrick Ross thinks the judgment is so unfair, why doesn't he appeal? Isn't that what the courts are for?

Anonymous said...

IANAL (I am not a lawyer) but I'll take a shot at this. With a "default judgment", you can't "appeal". The only thing I think you can do is file to "overturn" the judgment, which just lets you back into the case and that means you still have to finish off the case as normal -- you can still lose just as badly.

But in Canada, there are some pretty strict requirements to overturn a default judgment. I did a quick Google and found this, which makes it clear that, at the very least, you need to have had an excuse for not filing a statement of defence, and you need to move "promptly" to set aside the judgment.

As I read it from the archives, Mr. Ross simply chose to not defend, and he's known of the judgment for at least a year now. That suggests he doesn't have much hope for overturning at this point.

Anonymous said...

That sounds about right. As I understand it (but I could be wrong), once you learn about a default judgment against you, you need to try to overturn it as fast as possible.

If someone just didn't submit a defense because they didn't feel like it, then spent the next year obviously ignoring the judgment, I don't see how you have any chance to overturn.

Anonymous said...

Is there a time limit for filing to overturn a default judgment once you know about it? If Ross hasn't done that by now, isn't it too late? How long does he get?

CC said...

I most emphatically don't want to get involved in any ongoing dialogue here but since this is a fairly straightforward legal question, I'll address it.

As I understand it (and I'm willing to be corrected by those in the know), there is no strict deadline for filing to overturn a default judgment.

However, using the same link that was provided above here, it should be clear that Canada's Federal Court will not overturn default judgments lightly.

You can read the list of requirements, all of which must be satisfied for any chance of overturning. And I will let you judge for yourself Patrick Ross' probability of success at this point.

Anonymous said...

So if there's not much chance of him overturning the judgment, what options does he have? IANAL, but at this point, I don't see any other possibilities. It looks like he's stuck with this.

Tweeting Ninja said...

To quote a wise man: "The only way outta this bitch is suicide."

Lance said...

CC, I hate to rain on your well earned parade, but even though you deserve to win this judgement, how can you realistically expect that you'll ever be able to collect?

Put it this way - he was hard-headed and stupidly stubborn enough to refuse to retain ANY legal counsel thus far to represent him. I doubt that he has any assets that he can liquidate. As far as I can see the only way you'd probably see any hint of the money he owes you is to garnish his wages. If he is that stubborn to avoid the legal proceeding up to this point, just imagine what lengths he'd go to by refusing to get a job just so that he can avoid paying you.

LOL You've provided a valuable public service IMHO in silencing this asshole. But I'm sorry, even though you deserve this judgement many, MANY times over, I seriously doubt you'll see any susbstantial amount of money.

Lance said...

To quote a wise man: "The only way outta this bitch is suicide."

http://nexusofassholery.blogspot.ca/2012/03/my-own-inconvenient-truth.html#comment-form

http://nexusofassholery.blogspot.ca/2012/03/my-human-face.html

Hmmm, maybe he didn't file a defense was because he was planning a pity party.

Dana said...

Lance, the word you were looking for yet did not find is "garnishee". Unless of course you really meant that the poor foolish waddling idiot ought to get a radish along with his paycheque.

Pet peeve over.

Anonymous said...

Probably not this easy, but Google "patrick ross Pooter Built Off Road & Fab"

Jim said...

So, did he ever file the statement of assets? Did he have anything?

Patrick (no relation!) said...

I had my own run in with Patrick "Nexus of Assholery" Ross myself, only more recently (about a year and a half ago). His "razor sharp" wit eventually descended into pure name-calling and as much screaming as Twitter would allow. Basically, the word "douche" doesn't even begin to do this guy justice.
Interestingly, someone going by the name "Sue Ferguson Ross" here in Toronto is using similar language in defense of our equally indefensible mayor Rob Ford (along with threats and other unseemly behaviour), and I can't help but wonder if maybe there's some relation there. Or is it something about the Ross family name that makes these people reprehensible?
In any event, best of luck getting your money from this guy -- feel free to hit me up or visit my Twitter account to see the conversation (hopefully it's still up there in the Twitter archive somewhere)

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