UPPITY DATE, APR 7: I have just instructed my coruscating Saskatchewan lawyer to file a motion compelling Patrick Ross' attendance for questioning under oath pursuant to Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act 163(2), further advising that I want his immediate family members similarly compelled.
In the last couple of weeks, I have had the most delightful and enlightening phone conversations with a genuinely helpful and accommodating analyst in the Debtor Complaints Department of Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB); let me fill you in.
As regular readers of this corner of the Intertoobz will know, I have been chasing Lloydminster's Patrick "Lord Baron Twatrick von Loadenhosen" Ross for some time now, pursuant to a whacking huge amount of money ($100K+) he owes me due to my 2010 defamation judgment against him, and my subsequently having him removed from the protection of bankruptcy due to his relentless non-compliance with his obligations therein.
The problem all this time is that, given that Patrick has no trustee -- his trustee having discharged himself back in 2014 in total disgust over Patrick's non-compliance even back then -- it's been difficult to establish how to force Patrick to disclose his assets and so on, since that is normally the responsibility of the trustee and, given no trustee, it's been a challenge to interpret how the rules should work. (Amusingly, the main cause of the difficulty in determining who should be supervising Patrick is based on the consensus that no one has ever seen someone who has so thoroughly fucked up his bankruptcy and life as Patrick has; even analysts at the OSB admit that that entire branch is breaking new ground in trying to wrap their collective heads around the deranged clusterfuck that is Patrick's current status as a bankrupt. But ... onward.)
The result of my recent chats with the OSB is the enlightenment that -- Oh, frabjous day, calloo, callay! -- I do not, in fact, need a trustee to accomplish all this, and to prove that, let me lead you slowly and deliciously through the parts of Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) that I was unaware of until recently. You can read the relevant text here; I'll just copy and paste to include it in what follows. So ... buckle up, kids, it's going to be a ride.
First, let us set the stage with what I had understood all this time; that a trustee has the right to drag in an un-cooperative bankrupt whenever he wishes:
Examination of bankrupt and others by trustee
163 (1) The trustee, on ordinary resolution passed by the creditors or on the written request or resolution of a majority of the inspectors, may, without an order, examine under oath before the registrar of the court or other authorized person, the bankrupt, any person reasonably thought to have knowledge of the affairs of the bankrupt or any person who is or has been an agent or a mandatary, or a clerk, a servant, an officer, a director or an employee of the bankrupt, respecting the bankrupt or the bankrupt’s dealings or property and may order any person liable to be so examined to produce any books, documents, correspondence or papers in that person’s possession or power relating in all or in part to the bankrupt or the bankrupt’s dealings or property.
So none of this is surprising, and I was already aware of this, but it all hinges on the presence of a trustee, of which Patrick has had none since February of 2014.
Embarrassingly, I had never noticed the very next paragraph (helpfully pointed out to me by my OSB dude), which explains that I do not in fact need a trustee to do exactly the same thing [emphasis added from here on]:
Examination of bankrupt, trustee and others by a creditor
(2) On the application to the court by the Superintendent, any creditor or other interested person and on sufficient cause being shown, an order may be made for the examination under oath, before the registrar or other authorized person, of the trustee, the bankrupt, an inspector or a creditor, or any other person named in the order, for the purpose of investigating the administration of the estate of any bankrupt, and the court may further order any person liable to be so examined to produce any books, documents, correspondence or papers in the person’s possession or power relating in all or in part to the bankrupt, the trustee or any creditor, the costs of the examination and investigation to be in the discretion of the court.
Why, yes, you read that correctly -- as a (actually, the sole) creditor in this bankruptcy, I totally have the right to (as you can read) apply to the court to have Patrick hauled in for questioning under oath, which makes the absence of a trustee utterly irrelevant. And, yes, I have already started that process, but don't go away because it gets so much better. Here, let me emphasize a different bit of the above:
On the application to the court by the Superintendent, any creditor or other interested person and on sufficient cause being shown, an order may be made for the examination under oath, before the registrar or other authorized person, of the trustee, the bankrupt, an inspector or a creditor, or any other person named in the order, for the purpose of investigating the administration of the estate of any bankrupt, and the court may further order any person liable to be so examined to produce any books, documents, correspondence or papers in the person’s possession or power relating in all or in part to the bankrupt, the trustee or any creditor, the costs of the examination and investigation to be in the discretion of the court.
Why, yes, you're reading that correctly as well; not only do I have the right to examine Patrick, but that right extends to other persons named in the order, which means I have the freedom to include -- for questioning under oath -- the immediate members of Patrick's family (that would be his three siblings and especially his father), who I have been told have been subsidizing and enabling Patrick over the years, which makes them absolutely eligible for being named in the order and having their asses dragged in for interrogation. And, yes, I can assure you that all of them will be named in the order for questioning. And what exactly will be required of them? Oh, right:
... to produce any books, documents, correspondence or papers in the person’s possession or power relating in all or in part to the bankrupt, the trustee or any creditor, the costs of the examination and investigation to be in the discretion of the court.
Fuck, yes ... all of those people will be ordered to produce their last several years of financials, which I will be entitled to examine to establish what sort of financial dealings they had with Patrick, particularly whether they, in any way, assisted Patrick in concealing assets from the OSB, be it related to money, or property, or inheritance, or whatever the hell. And what if any of those family members are as stupid as Patrick and choose to ignore a court order? Whoopsie ...
(3) Any person referred to in subsection (1) may be compelled to attend and testify, and to produce on his examination any book, document or paper that under this section he is liable to produce, in the same manner and subject to the same rules of examination, and the same consequences of neglecting to attend or refusing to disclose the matters in respect of which he may be examined, as would apply to a bankrupt.
And what if said family members are forced to admit, under oath, that they've been quietly sitting on Patrick's assets to hide them from the current collection proceedings?
Admission of having bankrupt’s property
(2) Where any person on examination admits that he has in his possession any property belonging to the bankrupt, the court may, on the application of the trustee, order him to deliver to the trustee the property or any part thereof at such time, in such manner and on such terms as to the court may seem just.
(Side note: As there is no trustee here, my OSB dude confirms that said property would be delivered to me directly.)
And what if any of these yobs decides he (or she) just doesn't want to obey a lawful court order? Yeah, that would be a bad move:
Penalty for failure to attend for examination
166 If the bankrupt fails to present himself or herself for examination before the official receiver as required by paragraph 158(c) or if the bankrupt or any other person is served with an appointment or a summons to attend for examination and is paid or tendered the proper conduct money and witness fees as fixed by the General Rules but refuses or neglects to attend as required by the appointment or summons, the court may, on the application of the trustee or the official receiver, by warrant cause the bankrupt or other person so in default to be apprehended and brought up for examination.
That's right -- a warrant will be issued compelling their attendance. And if you think I'm joking about any of this, I have already started filling out the paperwork for this, and it's happening -- not just Patrick but all members of his immediate family will, at some point, be served with a court order to attend for questioning under oath to answer questions about Patrick's bankruptcy and assets. And if they refuse, I will file to have a warrant issued for their apprehension and compulsory attendance. I am so through fucking around here, and if people need to be arrested, then pitter patter, let's get at 'er. But, as hard to believe as it may be, that's still not all.
If, in the course of all of this, it is revealed that Patrick has been concealing assets from me, well, that will end badly. The BIA has a lengthy list of what is considered "misconduct" by a bankrupt:
and if it can be established that Patrick is guilty of any of the above, the standard remedy is for the OSB to simply fine the bankrupt; that is, levy a financial penalty above and beyond what the bankrupt already owes. And as my OSB dude explained to me, once misconduct is established, the penalty imposed would normally be collected by the trustee to be distributed among the creditors. However, he made it clear that, as there is no trustee, and as I am the only creditor, the fine imposed and collected would go straight to me. And how much might that be?
As I read it, the fine imposed is normally proportional to the severity of the misconduct and, more specifically, proportional to the degree of assets that were being concealed to prevent them from being turned over. As an example, if one was hiding $10,000 from the trustee, then the fine could be $5,000. However, if one could show that one was concealing, say, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Saskatchewan farmland, it is entirely possible that a fine for misconduct could reach $50,000 or $100,000 or more. Which means that if Patrick is (as has been reported to me, but still unconfirmed) sitting on a large parcel of valuable property inherited from his grandfather, his fine for misconduct could easily exceed what he already owes me; that is, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Patrick could end up owing me a quarter million dollars if he's been playing games like this.
All of this is speculation, of course, and needs to be investigated, but I can assure you, we will be starting with applying for a court order to compel both Patrick and his family members to appear for questioning under oath regarding Patrick's bankruptcy. And they will either appear and turn over all of the documents I ask for, or I will insist that a warrant be issued to compel their attendance. Because I am so tired of fucking around with this gang of clowns.
I've dealt with Patrick's shit for over a decade, and now it's time to resolve this, and if that means having members of his family arrested and held for questioning, I'm fine with that. And if they need a good lawyer, I'd recommend not listening to Patrick. We already know how that turned out.
BONUS TRACK: If it turns out that Patrick and his siblings did indeed inherit the reported farmland not far outside of Marshall, SK, and Patrick has been concealing that from the OSB, not only will I insist on Patrick being fined heavily for misconduct, but I will file to seize whatever portion of that land rightfully belongs to Patrick, which means that even if the family has jointly planted for an upcoming fall harvest, I can theoretically prevent them from harvesting (or even entering) Patrick's share of the property, costing them significant income as they watch their crops rot in the field.
Like I said, I'm so tired of fucking around with this family of asshats. And if Patrick thinks I'm just blowing smoke and not serious about this, let us list what I promised I would do over the years, and subsequently did:
- Sued Patrick for malicious defamation
- Forced him into bankruptcy
- Opposed his automatic discharge from bankruptcy
- Had his ridiculous bankruptcy appeal dismissed as abandoned
- Had his equally ridiculous contempt filing against me tossed from the bench
- Had him removed from the protection of bankruptcy's stay of proceedings
- Against his objections, had my 2010 judgment registered in the province of Saskatchewan
- Started collection proceedings against him, resulting so far in some $9,000 being seized
So if Patrick doesn't think I'm serious, he might want to look at the record.