A ruling (from a US court) was registered with a Canadian BC Provincial court that required them to remove CPLs (liens) from my property. This person (who lives in Canada) is refusing to cooperate. I understand they are in contempt of court. I'm told that only a lawyer can put things into motion to put this person in jail for their contempt. But they require $5000. Is there anything I can just do myself without having to pay this huge lawyer fee for something so simple?

  • Your actual goal is to get the liens removed, isn't it, rather than to get the person into jail? – phoog Jun 22 '18 at 22:45
  • Yes. I figured going to jail would encourage them to comply. Do you know of a better way? – Raven Jun 22 '18 at 22:54
  • No, I don't, but I suspect that a better way likely exists. – phoog Jun 22 '18 at 22:55
  • Thanks for your input phoog. I'm leaving my question as-is unless you can suggest something more constructive. – Raven Jun 22 '18 at 22:56
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    The person filed a CPL lien against your property, you filed in a US court which found that the CPL should be removed but the US court can't do it directly so they ordered the other party to remove it. The BC court registered the judgment, but nothing else has happened. Is that the situation? You might check the references here about removing CPLs: disinherited.com/… – user6726 Jun 23 '18 at 1:07

I understand they are in contempt of court.

Yes. At least in U.S. courts, the situation described here constitutes civil contempt. The contemptuous party is at risk of being jailed for as long as he or she disobeys the court order despite his/her ability to comply therewith. That is why the lawyer floated the idea of putting that person in jail. One alternative sanction consists of ordering the contemptuous party to pay an amount for each day he continues to disobey the order.

Is there anything I can just do myself without having to pay this huge lawyer fee for something so simple?

I don't know how different are the procedural rules in BC with respect to U.S. jurisdictions, but I believe your litigation would need to take place in the Canadian court because it has to do with enforcement of a ruling rather than judgment on the merits. Somebody knowledgeable of treaties between the U.S. and Canada may be able to determine the feasibility of litigating in the U.S. and having the Canadian police incarcerate the party held in contempt. If that's not the case, you might want to check https://representingyourselfcanada.com/ and other resources mentioned here for people seeking to represent themselves in a Canadian court.

Although I generally encourage litigation in pro per, I don't want to understate the complexity of (laws and) judicial proceedings. The intent and substance of your court ruling might be very simple. However, under the pretext of due process, procedural rules are replete with intricacies which are abused by vexatious parties (especially when they are represented by counsel).

I agree that charging you $5,000 is excessive for essentially a motion and hearing to show cause. That type of work is routine among attorneys, but one main advantage is that they already went through a learning curve that a brand new pro se litigant hasn't.

Another disadvantage that even an experienced pro se litigant endures is the arrogance that pervades (at least) some courts. Many judges and attorneys dislike the expertise a non-attorney litigant can attain, because that self-sufficiency tends to erode the influence trafficking that runs amok in those courts. Even under the most innocent view, lawyers attempt to protect the legal profession, and to prevent its image from falling in pieces. This is palpable in the heckling (beyond mere correction of misconceptions) a non-attorney occasionally receives from attorneys in public platforms.

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  • Thanks for the reply. Is there any guarantee that the court will make this person remove the CPL? It sounds like this court's decision to register this order is only 'recommended' and hardly even enforced. These CPLs are registered with another pending supreme court case, where this party tried to file for a divorce, 14 years after being divorced. It was really a sham to try and tie up these properties. The Provincial court registered the order to remove the CPLs anyways. The party believes they don't have to comply because of the pending supreme court case. How much truth is there to this? – Raven Jun 23 '18 at 18:15
  • It depends on (1) whether a US ruling truly is binding in the Canadian court, and (2) the integrity of Canadian judges. I state the latter because that's a big "if" among Michigan corrupt judges. The other case pending in supreme court (from where? state|US|BC) would matter only if (3) the contemptuous party timely appealed the ruling, and (4) a court entered an order to "stay" (that is: to pause, to hold in abeyance, or similar term) the liens ruling. Without (3) and (4), the decision in that unrelated case doesn't release the contemptuous party from his obligation to comply immediately. – Iñaki Viggers Jun 23 '18 at 19:28
  • I presume "a pro se litigant" is the US term for what in England is referred to as a "litigant in person" (often abbreviated to LIP). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 22 '18 at 13:59
  • @MartinBonner That's correct. The term "litigant in pro per" is likewise common (and perhaps a bit more correct than pro se) in the US. – Iñaki Viggers Aug 22 '18 at 14:39

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