Failing to Obey a Family Law Court Order

You may run into an issue where one party fails to obey an order. It is important to know what recourse you have in this situation. Pursuant to Sub-rule 8(1) of the Family Law Rules, if a person fails to obey a court order, the court may deal with the failure by making any order that it considers necessary for a just determination of the matter, including the following:

  1. The court may make an order that the party is not entitled to any further orders from the court unless the court orders otherwise. For example, suppose a party has been ordered to pay costs and the matter has now progressed to Conference. If the party has failed to pay the costs awarded and is seeking to adjourn the Conference, the Court may refuse the adjournment because the requesting party has not followed a previous court order in the same matter.
  • The court can make an order striking a party’s pleadings or dismissing a claim. Striking a party’s pleadings or dismissing a party’s claim are serious remedies as this results in the court denying a party’s participation in the proceedings. This is usually a last resort remedy.
  • The court may also order that all or part of a document that was required to be provided, but was not, may not be used in the case.
  • The court can also make an order postponing the trial or any other step in the case. The Court will usually require the party to obey the Order before any further progress can be made in their case.
  • The court may award an order for costs.
  • In some situations, where reasonable, the court may find a party to be in contempt which has different and more serious outcomes.

In the end, it is very important to obey court orders. If the other party in your matter is refusing to obey an order, contact Harjyot Dhaliwal, Associate Lawyer at Lockyer + Hein LLP to learn more: / 905.452.7400


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