Generally in Defence of our Civil Court System

The Court System in Canada is in the news this week,  in particular the allegation that judges are appointed in Quebec in an unethical manner.  I don’t practice in Quebec, so I have no opinion on that story, well, not one I’m putting in a Blog in any event.

The Civil Court system in Ontario (and I am only speaking to the Civil side, not family, not Criminal, not anything else: I’m sticking to what I know and deal with every day)  is often spoken of as “broken” and in need of fixing.  Perhaps in some aspects, but overall I disagree.

I am able to get my clients in front of a Judge as quickly as I would like.  Yes, there are certain jurisdictions in Ontario where it takes a long time, but the simple solution to that is not to start a Civil Action in those jurisdictions.

The Judges who hear my matters are thoroughly prepared and listen to both sides before making decisions.

Parties that are not represented by counsel are treated fairly and with respect, but not over indulged – it is the right balance.

I am able to enforce my Judgments relatively quickly, but then we hit a snag.  While I can garnish money from employers  and bank accounts quickly, thus leading to the money being taken from the debtors and paid to the Sheriff’s office, it is at this point the system comes crashing down.

The Sheriff  is supposed to pay out the garnishment funds after 30 days.  In many regions it is taking at least four months.  This is not fair to the Judgment Debtor nor to the owner of the Judgment who wants to get paid.

Staffing is the reason that is being given for the delay and I have no reason to believe otherwise.  The population has grown, but our Justice System’s enforcement department has shrunk: it’s not right.

That being said, I rank our Civil System as one of the best for many reasons & I hope that we can improve the areas where it needs some work.

Inga B. Andriessen, Sr. Lawyer

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