144 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario

144 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bruni v. Bruni -- hatred has no legal remedy

A few years back I heard a commentary about criminal court and family court.  The saying went something like this: "criminal court is filled with bad people trying to look good, while family court is filled with good people looking bad."

The parties in Bruni v. Bruni behaved incredibly badly.   The wife alienated the children from the husband (actually seeking to have them adopted by her new boy friend 4 months after separation). The husband failed to report income and to pay adequate child support.  The husband made a frivolous claim to set aside a separation agreement.

Justice Quinn's decision was scathing of the parties.  The decision garnered national attention.

Aside from the delight of schadenfreude, can any insight to our family law system be gained from Quinn, J's critique?

Our court system is is obviously a flawed process for addressing people's emotional difficulties.  In Bruni, the parties and their children were in need of counselling but the court was unable to provide it.  Their anger towards each other came to nothing other than wasted resources and the ridicule of a jurist.


  1. I'm sorry to disagree with your title (hatred has no legal remedy), Tom. There is great legal revenge in making a mere claim of abuse and fear of the other parent. That gets you Police response akin to claiming that a murder is about to be perpetrated, the resources of the Crown prosecutor who will fully and immediately fund the removal of the accused spouse from the home and the lives of the children. This can continue for months and even years without recourse.

    The accuser will also have a lawyer in the remaining family issues paid for by legal aid.

    Is this a legal remedy for hatred, well maybe not a remedy, maybe even better. It certainly gives anyone tired of waiting for the legal system a MUCH quicker satisfactory response!

    All this without the remotest possibility of being accused of lying let alone contempt, or even abuse of process.

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