Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Patrick Ross versus the legal system.

Since I had been giving readers a regular countdown to malicious defamer Patrick Ross' required March 6 appearance in a Calgary courtroom, it now behooves me to describe (for the most part) what happened yesterday, as explained to me over the phone by my Calgary lawyer. There are a few parts still waiting on clarification, but I'll fill those in when they come in. For now, I'm going to stick to the simple facts with a minimum of editorializing.

To set the stage, you should read Patrick Ross' recent heart-tugging plea for sympathy, and decide how seriously you want to take it. You should then follow that up with my earlier, brief discussion of what happened. And now, to complete the story as best I can while still waiting for the judge's official endorsement.

First, as you can see from my earlier post, Patrick Ross simply lied in court on two fundamental points. And despite the fact that my lawyer had incontrovertible evidence in the way of affidavits and screenshots, the judge inexplicably chose to give Patrick Ross the benefit of the doubt. However, this is only a minor annoyance as he can only play that card once; it will never work again.

The consequence of the above is that Patrick Ross now has an equally inexplicably generous 45 days to fill out and return the required Statement of Debtor Form. Again, a minor annoyance since this allows Patrick Ross to drag out these proceedings even further. However, since he has already demonstrated that he is perfectly comfortable lying in court, we will be fact-checking that Statement of Debtor Form very carefully indeed. In short, the next hard deadline is 45 days from yesterday, at which time Patrick Ross must have produced a completed Statement of Debtor Form, or he will be required once again to appear in a Calgary courtroom to explain why he should not be found in contempt of court. But there's one more thing that is a bit puzzling.

As explained to me by my lawyer (and it's entirely possible I'm misinterpreting what he said), the judge decreed that Patrick Ross would have the right to file to overturn the default judgment. Which sounds like a victory for Patrick, except for the following.

He has always had that right.

Nothing has ever stopped Patrick from filing a motion to overturn the judgment. In fact, Patrick himself publicly announced last year that he was in the process of doing just that, and even posted a copy of the motion he had prepared, only to be told that he couldn't file it remotely as he was trying to do. Rather, if Patrick Ross wants to file to overturn the judgment, that must (as I have been told) be done here in Ontario where the judgment was awarded, and must be done either by Patrick personally or by an Ontario lawyer he hires to represent him.

If this is indeed the case (as I believe it is, until shown otherwise), then it's not at all clear what that Calgary judge was going on about. As long as I understand this properly, Patrick can file a motion to overturn whenever he wants, with or without the blessing of that apparently misinformed judge. And whether that motion is successful will be determined here in Ontario, mercifully without her input. I'm still waiting for clarification on what exactly the judge was saying, and when I get it, I'll let you know.

In short, Patrick Ross appeared in a Calgary courtroom yesterday and, from this point on, he has no excuses left. He has 45 days to complete and submit a Statement of Debtor Form listing all his worldly assets, and if he tries to overturn the judgment, he will either have to travel to Ontario, or (finally) hire a lawyer to represent him. At the moment, nothing about the judgment has changed, and he still owes me $85,000 plus accruing costs.

More later as it arrives.

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