Matt Gurney June 21, 2010 – 2:12 pm
Jeff Dolan spent Father’s Day in jail, locked away for failure to pay child support. Deadbeat dads don’t garner a lot of sympathy. But you don’t need to study Jeff’s case for long before you realize that he’s anything but a deadbeat. Instead, he’s a man hopelessly ensnared in a crushing bureaucratic machine: He’s in jail because he couldn’t pay child support, but he couldn’t pay child support because he was unemployed … and he was unemployed because the court took his driver’s license for failure to pay child support … after he went bankrupt paying his court costs.
There is no good news in this story, but there is some dark irony. Jeff, who despite a learning disability graduated high school and held down several construction jobs in his home state of Minnesota, was also a volunteer at a local sexual violence crisis centre. One of his jobs there, on top of fielding telephone calls from sexual assault survivors, was to talk to high school classes. One thing he taught was “male privilege” — the notion that society favours men in many varied, sometimes subtle ways, thus enabling sexual violence.
Jeff is living proof that if there is such a thing as male privilege, it is doled out unevenly.
Jeff’s saga began five years ago, when a slowdown in Minnesota’s economy saw his employment opportunities dry up. After travelling to Texas to work in the oil industry, Jeff returned to his wife and two sons only to be served with a restraining order. His wife was claiming that Jeff was himself an abuser. Jeff’s lawyer urged him to immediately file for divorce, warning him that such orders are used by women as a “silver bullet” to ensure swift, favourable divorce proceedings. Jeff’s lawyer proved prescient, and he spent the next several years both seeking to prove that he was not an abuser and to get equal custody of his sons. It would be hard enough to argue for custody when facing abuse allegations at the best of time; Jeff actually had to do so before the same judge. Though the abuse allegations were ultimately set aside (two psychiatric profiles showed that he was not abusive), the damage was done — Jeff had lost equal custody, had gone deep into debt fighting two legal battles at once and had a nervous breakdown. By the time he was well enough to work, the world’s economy was in chaos, and there were no jobs.
But Jeff didn’t quit. He found new work, and could make good money billing by the hour. All he had to do was drive to the appointments, and he’d be able to pay down debt and meet his child support obligations. Enter the courts — since he had fallen behind on his obligations, the court stripped him of his driver’s license. That caused him to be unable to work. He fell further behind in his payments, and now he’s in jail. He can’t get his license back until he’s employed and making payments again, but he can’t find work because he does not have a valid license and now, must declare on job applications that he’s served jail time.
It’s a complete Catch-22, an utterly Kafka-esque nightmare from which there is no escape. The courts have left only one avenue open to Jeff to regain his freedom, financial independence and his children, while simultaneously making it impossible for him to do those very things. If anyone ever needed a heaping helping of male privilege, certainly, it must be Jeff Dolan.
Jeff is just one man, but speaks to a broader problem. Courts, in their earnest efforts to do right by families, are destroying them, instead. Men, who want only the chance to be good fathers, are crushed under the weight of gender-biased default rulings and the inertia of unfeeling bureaucracies. Whether in far-off Minnesota or, as Post columnist Barbara Kay has shown time and again, right here in Canada, men fighting custody battles are outgunned from the start. Jeff’s story, of being forced into bankruptcy by family court proceedings and then being jailed by those same courts for not being able to pay their court-mandated payments, is no surprise to any number of Canadian dads.
Bill Levy, a Canadian with bitter personal experience in such matters said it best: “Canada has reopened debtor prisons, only for parents. Only alienated parents go to jail for poverty. No Mastercard or mortgage debtors. The Constitution does not permit this, we can’t be forced into servitude. And yet no one will stand up in court and make these arguments. Men, and some women, too, can’t fight back against the court’s preference for expediency.” That mirrors what Jeff’s brother Jon told me in a phone interview: “Jeff isn’t in jail because he’s an abuser or a bad father. He’s in jail because he’s poor in a bad economy where there are no jobs.”
You can take any number of harsh lessons from Jeff’s tale, or those that Ms. Kay has chronicled in the Post time and again, but the overriding one must be how helpless parents — usually fathers — are in the face of an inflexible family court system that gives no leeway or understanding to those trapped in its clutches.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre.com
This story has literally thousands of similar cases in Canada. At least Jeff had a right to go to court. In Canada increasingly judges are removing all rights for a male to have access to the courts.
Unemployed Fathers in Ontario are increasingly being hit with orders for
support based on "a figure" that a judge decides on, without even any allegation
that he earns that income. The same fathers end up being arrested and thrown in
jail even when they are primary child care providers. The entire legislation is
designed by feminists to be abuse men.
Judges frequently issue these orders to "punish" a man for seeking access to his children or for raising any allegation regarding the mother's problems. There are "Power orders" and "Sheffield orders" which "strike pleadings", "vexatious litigant orders", "orders for security for costs", all draconian orders that are used like bit of tissue paper that throw litigants into the trash, permanently without any future legal rights.
The orders are virtual "deportation orders" from Canada to other jurisdictions who, have to ask Ontario to vary the order and of course, Ontario aka the mother will not consent to vary the order. These Power and Sheffield orders are specifically designed to cause the maximum amount of destruction and are corrupt in nature.
Almost every example of these orders is to give a lawyer a huge "cost" winning. That is, the judge has a connection be it not very well known, it could be just a political alliance but it results in mega-millions of dollars being given to "politically correct" law firms where the former partners are judges or have the right political connections. Some law firms still hang their former partner's name on the shingle in a blatant advertising that "they have the connections". Former attorney generals, former politicians become the "go to law firms" who rake in a river of cash, most of which rides on their ability to "get results" that have all to do with "connections" rather than their ability.
Its a very dirty business that costs Canada billions of dollars while MOST Canadian children now grow up without their father living with them even 50% of the time.
There is a virtual war against me going on in Family Court. If you walk into a court and you a male, you can feel the hatred literally oozing out of the court room walls.
Back in the WW1 and WW2, soldiers suffering shell shock, looked physically
fit and able bodied. Many of those men were executed by their own men as
Ontario Family Court is engaged in the same Genocide.
Ontario Father's destroyed by a corrupt man hating judicial system, are often left with destroyed reputations. Most men with mentally ill ex wives end up being repeatedly charged with trumped up criminal charges. Those charges are designed not to end up in a conviction but to "remove him from the picture".
Then Ontario Family Court goes for the knock out punch, they issue, like confetti "restraining orders" not based on any real evidence but simply because a woman asks for it. These orders are designed to "abuse and destroy. Judges like Denis Power and Allan Sheffield to name just two Ontario Superior Court Judges will issue "LIFETIME RESTRAINING ORDERS", thats right, "FOR LIFE". They frequently include bans from entire cities, like Kingston where all the worst real criminals reside. They can include such a large number of "prohibited areas" that they are "get out of town orders".
The same judges, also issue "don't come to court again orders". While that goes on Ontario Legal Aid specifically exclude men from receiving legal aid. Most Ontario men if they initially receive legal aid will have it canceled on a pretext, based on absurd obviously false assumptions. Its part of the Family court procedure to criminalize poverty and put Fathers in Jail.
To quote Stacy Robb,
It takes a dead beat judge to create a dead beat dad, and real crime starts in Family Court where there worst criminals are judges.
There are thousands of "Jeff Dolans" thrown in Canadian Jails every day for
no other crime than having been born with testicles and being a father. Many of
these men were chosen by women to be unwilling s.perm donors, some were even
raped by the women to steal their s.perm as part of their own way of dealing
with childhood sexual abuse. Canadian women are increasingly choosing to be
single mothers, they literally hunt down the "right genetics" and the "right
income" , obtain his s.perm and he rarely ever gets to be part of that child's
life, she simply uses him as a lottery winning paid every month.
If he becomes unemployed, Ontario Family Courts will simply default him and remove his drivers license and throw him in jail even if he is a primary child care provider. That's Ontario Family Law.
The Ontario Court of Appeal should be a place where injustice has a chance to
be rectified and on rare occasions it partially happens but its important to
know HOW these Man Haters are actually screwing over fathers.
IF a father is successful on any issue such as appealing an order "striking pleadings" then the Ontario Court of Appeal will STRIKE OUT THE FATHER WITH AN ORDER FOR COSTS.
If a father has a meritorious case in Family Court judges are using Economic orders to ensure he never gets to see his kids.
The weapon number one is an "order that can't be complied with", then another subsequent order is issued to ensure he can never attend court again. These can be "orders for costs" " orders for security for costs".
The judges know very well that their orders will not and cannot be complied with and they are issued to do "Indirectly" what they are prohibited from doing "directly".
Their superior judges, the supervisory judges DO NOTHING. It appears that being a "regional senior judge" requires a qualification of being the most corrupt and the ability to just turn a blind eye to obvious flagrant abuses not to mention criminal acts by judges they supervise. Not all Regional Senior Judges fall into this category completely. Many just "transfer out a judge" they don't want. He or she simply goes to another area and continues their trail of destruction.
Such are the realities of how Ontario Family Court destroys men by the thousands.
Ottawa is one of the worst jurisdictions in the western world for a man to go to family court.
Father's be warned he Ottawa Judiciary has some saints, some vile underbellies and everything in between.
There are several judges that most old family lawyers will run from if they are representing a father. The very worst is Aitken who has a pathological hatred towards men. The next on the list is Justice DeSousa, again, well known for her hatred of men. The next two judges who should be avoided are Sheffield whose nicknames in Ottawa are "The Worst of the Worst" and "The judge who never, NEVER smiles".
Its that cold killer like personality, devoid of compassion and riddled with corrupt motivations that results in a Flagrant Abuse of Judicial Power. Its used to "Strike Pleadings" " make vexatious litigant orders, to order "security for costs" of such outragious amounts that very obviously cannot be paid. Father's unable to pay who are unable pay these outragious orders, of fictitious numbers , "to their friends", end up in JAIL.
The average Canadian has no comprehension of just how BAD our family courts are or how vile, corrupt and pathological, the "underbelly" of the judiciary are.
Canadians need to know that the Ontario Family Court system is built on a
track to issue orders for support that cannot be paid and which would never be
ordered in most other jurisdictions. The Ontario system is set up so that once
an order is made, its next to impossible to vary. The court's use all sorts of
abusive justifications to ensure orders are impossible to vary and that a
father's family, his parents, his relatives, his second wife all get burdened
with payments to a vindictive ex wive who uses the support orders to criminalize
the father so they can tell the child, well, daddy is in jail and can't see you.
For that, you can thank another dead beat judge.