Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun with QuickLaw (II): You're a Monster Edition

I didn't have high hopes for this one, but typing "you're a monster" into LexisNexis QuickLaw produced one result: Crousset v. Crousset [2003] O.J. No. 1841, a custody battle in which the applicant ("mother" -- we'll call her Ashlee) seeks an order varying a previous judgment by granting to her sole custody of the child (let's say Bronx Mowgli). The father (Pete) also seeks sole custody.

Ashlee and Pete were married for twelve years (when pigs fly), separated in 1999 and divorced in 2002. Some pretty heavy stuff happened which doesn't bear examining at length. Suffice
to say, there was a communication problem between the parents and Bronx Mowgli and his siblings (Harlem Bagheera, Brooklyn Baloo and Manhattan Shere Khan) were caught in the middle, Bronx Mowgli in particular, since he has Tourette's and is a depressive insomniac suicide risk. A social worker with the Office of the Children's Lawyer, upon examining the family, noted that
... conflict and poor communication has continued to exist at a very significant level. The mother suggests that the father continues to behave in a controlling and conflict-maintaining ways [sic] through unwanted telephone calls, arguing at access exchanges and sending messages through the children such as "daddy says you're a monster". The mother expresses little hope that this situation can improve because of its lengthy history. The father also uses the word controlling to describe the mother and says she attempts to control him through her inflexibility about access, poor communication about the children's needs and attempts to involve the police and the CAS in his life. The father also suggests his relationship with the mother is unlikely to improve.
The social worker went on to conclude that the father "is very well intended and is a loving father [but] fails to understand that the conflict that continues to exacerbate the family dynamics is very detrimental to his children" and noted that severe depression or anxiety, untreated, is grounds to take the kids away under the Child and Family Services Act.

I knew there was a reason I didn't want to go into family law -- and they probably get a lot worse than this case.

In the end, the court rules that Ashlee gets sole custody of poor Bronx Mowgli, who is probably just messed up because he fears our world and wants to return to the jungle. Pete gets access on every second weekend, half of summer vacation and all of the Christmas break.

In retrospect, typing "you're a monster" was perhaps ill-considered. Look for Fun with QuickLaw (III): "I love you", or "so many puppies", or "babies in costumes" or something next time.


Anonymous said...

Pretty amusing post.

Nick said...

Haha. Give "perverse and often baffling" a try?

Will said...

no dice on perverse and often baffling, I'm afraid. but stay tuned for the Christmas edition of fun with QuickLaw; you'll never guess what Santa has been up to.