Thursday, February 12, 2015

Patrick Ross, and the end of a very long road.

While I prefer to not blog at length about the years-long legal battle between myself and one Patrick Ross, I will make this one, final exception because, after this post, there will be nothing left to discuss as the case will be over and we can all move on, and you can all stop e-mailing me and asking what's happening. Fair?

I won't bother to recap the sordid details -- you can read the beginning of it here, and I have blogged about it extensively at this very blog, much of it in aid of once trying to locate Patrick Ross when Patrick Ross was desperately trying to not be found. No, what this post will cover is the closing chapter, after which it's all over and there's nothing left to write.

The beginning of the end dates back to December of 2012, when defendant Ross -- in a brazen and transparent attempt to escape legal proceedings that were descending on him like a million-pound shithammer -- filed for personal bankruptcy in Saskatchewan. In this, Patrick was eminently successful -- bankruptcy put an immediate halt to all attempts at collection and legal proceedings, whereupon my lawyer informed me there was, really, nothing we could do as long as Patrick was protected by bankruptcy. On the other hand, once Patrick's mandatory nine months of bankruptcy was up and he applied for his discharge, well ... that was another matter.

Now, the nine months one spends in bankruptcy comes with its own set of obligations on the bankrupt (regular reporting to one's trustee, attending financial counselling sessions), and it should come as no surprise whatever that Patrick Ross was hopelessly deficient in his obligations, to the point where his own trustee was prepared to file to remove himself from the case out of sheer frustration, and leave Patrick twisting in the wind.

And it should come as no surprise that Patrick took so long to fulfill his legal obligations as a bankrupt that it was not until April of 2014 that we finally got Patrick into a courtroom for his discharge hearing, where my lawyer quietly, calmly and professionally, tore him six new kinds of asshole. I will not get into detail, as you can draw your own conclusion of the bankruptcy registrar based on her ruling posted here. In particular, I draw your attention to the judge's unambiguous smackdown:

wherein the judge leaves no doubt about Ross' culpability -- the word "reprehensible" figures prominently, as you can see. And it's here where the story drags to its painful, Bataan death march of a conclusion.

Predictably, Patrick Ross filed an appeal -- an appeal which, when shown to various legal people who actually understood law, left each and every one of them gasping with laughter, tears streaming down their faces.

It will suffice to point out that Patrick's primary appeal argument is that, since he chose not to even defend against the original defamation claim in Ontario back in 2010, it would be unfair for the Saskatchewan Court of Bankruptcy to hold him accountable for the fallout of that default judgment since, well, after all, those claims had never been tested in court. In short, Patrick Ross chose not to defend against the original claim, and he was now using that lack of defence as his defence.

The mind reels. But ... onward.

Now, despite the utter worthlessness of Patrick Ross' initial filing of an appeal, it did suffice to get his case into the pipeline for appeals, one of whose consequences was to put an immediate stay on Ross' legal obligation to start paying the court-ordered $200/month to his trustee for the next 14 years -- a consequence I suspect Ross was counting on and, sure enough, those payments were put on hold until the appeal could be heard and resolved. And it's here where the real entertainment begins.

Because, you see, this is when the court explained to Patrick Ross that his initial filing of an appeal was hopelessly deficient, and he needed to come back with an appeal in proper form, which required things like a Notice of Application and other interesting documents, before a court date could be set. And it was at that point that Patrick Ross probably began to realize that maybe he was in a bit over his head. As my lawyer wrote to me (and I quote, verbatim):

[The Registrar has] since talked with [Patrick] again, told him what the filing requirements are (he supposed to file a Notice of Application in the proper form), and given him some other possible dates later down the road.  Since he wanted 'to think about it', she's put the file away until he gets back to her. He also hasn't filed his 'Brief of Law' with the Court.  Guess he expects the Judge to learn his arguments through telepathy.

Which brings us to the very last chapter in this sorry, sorry saga. At this point, Patrick Ross' initial filing of an appeal, while ridiculously deficient, was still enough to put the payment plan on hold, and until Patrick gets back to the Registrar with either all of the proper legal documents (or, conversely, withdraws his appeal), everyone is now waiting for him to jump one way or the other. And I suspect this is precisely what Patrick had in mind -- file just enough to gum up the works, then walk away, having stalled the entire payment plan. And I'm sure Patrick Ross is feeling amazingly smug about how he's beaten the system once again.

Not surprisingly, my lawyer pointed out that you can't just delay this sort of thing forever, and that, after a certain amount of time, if Patrick hasn't submitted the proper paperwork, she could file to have Patrick's appeal treated as "abandoned." And it's here where I'm going to do Patrick Ross the humongous favour of telling him precisely what I plan on doing to rectify this situation.


Absolutely nothing.

And here's why.

As it is, Patrick Ross is currently a 33-year-old (UPDATE: now 34-year-old) undischarged bankrupt university dropout, living at home with his parents and looking at 14 years of being an undischarged bankrupt, followed by six (maybe seven, I can never remember which) more years of being a discharged bankrupt. Quite simply, for someone who considers himself the smartest and baddest motherfucker on the Intertoobz, Patrick Ross is looking at dealing with the consequences of his malicious defamation of me, civil judgment and subsequent personal bankruptcy until he is well into his fifties. But that's not the sad part of this.

The truly sad part of this is that I have been assured by my lawyer that, while Patrick Ross is undoubtedly crowing about how clever he is at having his appeal postpone his legal obligation to start making payments, it has also prevented the 14-year payment clock from even starting to tick. In other words, while Patrick dawdles on what to do regarding his appeal, all he is accomplishing is pushing the consequences of his bankruptcy, day by day, further into his old age.

It is precisely for that reason that I instructed my Saskatchewan lawyer that under no circumstances is she to expend any time or effort to track down Patrick Ross or push to have his appeal brought before the court. No, I have instructed her to take his file and put it in a back drawer somewhere, and leave it there. Because, to be frank, I can survive quite nicely without that $200/month, and if Patrick Ross wants to languish as an undischarged bankrupt for the rest of his life, I have no problem with that and he has my blessing.

So here endeth the story. I'm getting on with my life (which involves travelling the world, eating well and drinking really good gin), my lawyer is stuffing the Patrick Ross file into a box, and Patrick is free to spend the rest of his days living in his parents' basement, tweeting about pro wrestling and which upcoming Marvel Comics Avenger movie he looks forward to the most, stocking shelves at the Lloydminster lumber store he works at, and getting used to living without a credit card or a credit record of any kind, never being able to get a bank loan or a mortgage. And if he's happy to be there, I'm happy to leave him there.

The end.