(Note: names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients)
The Case: R. v. Ryan C. – Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton
The Facts: Our client was charged with assaulting his ex-wife. He had been through a divorce from hell, in and out of court and custody battles for longer than the 12 years he had been married. She lured him to her house to sign a settlement agreement that would end a decade and a half of court battles. He refused to go inside her house to sign the documents, because he did not trust her. She came outside, and when she presented the settlement agreement for his signature, he realized that it had been improperly altered. He refused to sign it, and when he turned to leave, she attacked him, scratching his face. He grabbed her arm to stop her and she began screaming that she was being assaulted. The client was able to disengage and left quickly. She called the police and gave them a recording that she had made of her screaming that she had been assaulted.
The Defence: The client told us that he had been set up. He described a lengthy history of litigation and bad behaviour by his ex-wife, including many attempts to have him charged by police under false pretences. She had made false reports to the government about lack of child support, and had filed frivolous motions in court. Several judges had found that she was prepared to misrepresent facts to get her way, and one even said that her mission in life was to destroy him. She had succeeded in alienating his children from him, and had even pushed him into bankruptcy. She filed complaints against anyone (therapists, lawyers, medical staff) who disagreed with her. We put together a voluminous negotiation brief to document the history of their post-divorce warfare. We also included photos of the scratches on his face and a statement from his current wife, who had wisely come as a witness when he had gone over to his ex-wife’s house. She provide an affidavit describing the attack on him that she witnessed from the car.
The Result: After reviewing our materials, the best the Crown was prepared to offer at first was a peace bond, if the client took the government’s domestic violence counselling program (called PARS). We refused, because the client had done nothing wrong and was not going to take a counselling program that required him to admit any wrongdoing. Faced with prospect of a trial with the lengthy history of her vendetta against him, and some favourable comments from the pretrial judge in our client’s favour, the Crown agreed to withdraw the charges against him without any restraining order, counselling, community service or charitable donation (which are often required in domestic cases). Ryan C. was able to leave the court, and a lifetime of divorce litigation, behind him.Back
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