10.49: Penalty for contravening rules

Case Summary

The matter arose from a high-conflict family law proceeding that had been before the Courts multiple times and which was case managed. During case management, the Defendant engaged in abusive email activity with the Court which resulted in the Case Management Justice imposing a $1,000 penalty against her pursuant to Rule 10.49(1).

After the Trial concluded, the Defendant remained under strict communication protocols with the Court. Given that the Defendant continued to bully the Court’s decision makers and personnel, she was directed to pay another $1,000. If she was to breach the protocols yet again, she would face additional Rule 10.49(1) penalties. Rule 10.49(1) penalties are discretionary and imposed on litigants who fail to comply with the Court’s direction and who interfere with the proper or efficient administration of justice.

The Defendant continued her pattern of abusive and bullying conduct. In recent activities, she had (a) repeatedly breached Court-imposed communication protocols, (b) deliberately changed her email address several times to evade communications with the Court, (c) initiated collateral attacks on the Trial decision, (d) commenced Applications and then failed to participate in the hearings, and (e) would submit unsigned “Emergency Orders” for filing without explanation.

Associate Chief Justice Nielsen determined that if the Defendant was to file documents in the family Action, the Defendant was required to pay the $2,000 penalties imposed under Rule 10.49(1). This step was required to ensure the Defendant would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

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