Coping With the Courtroom

helpAnnouncing “Coping with the Courtroom: Essential Information and Tips for SRLs” , written by Hannah Bahmanpour and Julie Macfarlane for the NSRLP.
This primer for preparing yourself, emotionally and technically, for court is packed with the information and practical self-help tips that SRLs told us they needed.

Comments (25)


    one thing that was not known, was that no matter how good your case, you still may lose based on the bias of the judge. these people account to no one, they don’t even have to give reasons for decisions. they can just feel angry at you for something, and you lose. so. we all would like to believe in justice, but it may or may not be there.

    March 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    • nicole lalonde Reply

      Sandra your comment is RIGHT ON … our experience is they do not want to hear you ….they automatically defer to what they know and ask you to make it quick …. no reasons for their not accepting precedents and authorities …simply put …. we have no standing …

      February 21, 2015 at 6:54 pm
  • Brenda Reply

    This is a true statement, being abused by my ex for ten years leaves me broke and at a massive loss. Been fighting for two years and now leaving family court to civil claim. Alberta family law seems discriminatory, one sided, and let’s the fraudulant deceptive litigant with everything. Family court is not a place to be. Get out quick

    July 5, 2014 at 1:56 am
    • scott murray Reply

      RE: “Alberta family law seems discriminatory, one sided, and let’s the fraudulent deceptive litigant with everything”.

      I couldn’t agree with you more ~ It has been my experience that the courts tend to look at the non custodial parent as nothing more than a walking ATM. The custodial parent chose a path of destruction with impunity using the children as pawns … pretty much a guaranteed win as the courts supposedly rule only for what is in the childrens best interest. What a crock of sh*t. Couple the absurd rulings by some Judge who is obviously from another planet with the likes of MEP and there is a recipe for disaster. The custodial parent in this case was awarded a handsome guaranteed tax free income that feeds her lawyers to bombard the non custodial parent with endless litigation and unable to pay for legal defense . . . . A system that is completely broken.

      January 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm
  • sandra olson Reply

    to Brenda. I obtained all the court rules… I followed them all if I made a statement I provided supportive documentation for it. I asked for the right to examine the evidence and the witnesses. the court did not follow their own rules refused to acknowledge any supportive documentation. and refused to allow me to examine the witnesses or the actual evidence the file was said to contain. it is not that we are stupid and cannot read or follow rules. it is that the court is refusing themselves to follow them. it is not you. it is the courts the opposition lawyers who will slander and abuse you while the judges listen and say nothing unless they themselves jump in to help do it. you are right. there is no justice to be had in a judicial system that thinks it is above the law. and barely tolerating the people in front of them.
    if you continue to try to be heard they will have you declared vexatious and get rid of you completely. that is how they deal with self represented litigants. what a disgrace.

    July 21, 2014 at 10:14 pm
    • Amrit Reply

      I can not agree with you more. The court is there not to uphold the law but rather to demonstrate that it is above the law. The lawyers, although to be governed by Rules of the court, are at most times in breach of court process. The matter becomes lengthy taking years to come to a decision. In the meantime the lawyers have made a ton of money from you. Keep in mind as the old saying goes” if the horse became friends with the grass it would starve to death”. It is in the lawyers interest to keep the matter not ending for as long as possible. Further keep in mind ‘ The Judges’ are ex lawyers and that they have gone thru the same system , hence they are supportive of ‘ the lawyers’, as it is their livelihood and source of income. Many a time a judge will base a decision on ‘like or dislike’ of the person. The courts are there to supposedly uphold the law only. Justice is not their concern. Law is not Justice although it is called ‘ The Justice system’.

      June 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm
  • Larry Doucet Reply

    I was force to go to court without a lawyer for the wrongdoing of others and had what you call a two day Kangaroo trial where the people mostly responsible weren’t evening the courtroom I never believe in this corrupt system again,where money first and Justice after a bunch of barbarians what they done to me they lick me out of my own house jailed for three week,just because I was poor.

    April 7, 2015 at 3:34 pm
  • Larry Doucet Reply

    I was kick out of my own house and jailed for three week because of the wrongdoing of others than they wanted the money from my old pension. These people who done what they are Barbarians and now I can see how crooked of a Justice we really got and the money hungry crooks in it all,I was robbed of $100,000 dollars tortured and harrases and bullied for a two about a two year period,they sure know how to lie to cover their own track,I’m am seeking justice,I feel we got a dictatorship in our country Canada whose going downhill fast.

    April 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm
  • Larry Doucet Reply

    I’m seeking justice of what all barbarians done to me,and please don’t let them lie their way out of this,the things they don’t to me you wouldn’t believe one thing I had made numerous complaints to the RCMP complaint board but with there criminal lawyers to do their lying,they contradicted all of them,I was told by an RCMP officer to get out off my house and not to return,now this RCMP was on the Stan I ask why he said this an said it wasn’t true,now I know what the RCMP are Members of The Lyers club,I cannot write in words what they all done to me I’d be all day,put a stop to these Dictators before it goes to far,I’m in need of help to get judtice which is denied by the poor,and they can use the taxpayers money to find innocent people guilty put a stop to this practice ,will be waiting for a respond .

    April 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm
  • Barbara Reply

    A Judge is Answerable to Me the Tax Paying Citizen leaving his personal feelings outside the courtroom is advisable. His personal preference has nothing to do with the case in court! Therefor on the basis of evidence to the contrary any Judge Presiding over a case. Which has personal bearing or he feels eg. being a judge you have no right to feel in that court. Your Heart is Made of The hardest fiberouse material in a court of law! I therefor find them guilty of Multiple Breach of Trust Issues. The standard is not that of a Normal Human Being. Sub Human in fact! They are in fact answerable to the Province. A Tribunal in fact set up to Judge, Judges. Based on the Fact, Not a matter of personal preference, sexual arousal aside. Being Gay on a Panel of Judges, you then have no right to be thinking hey he is sexy, why not let him win. Especially given the woman is a freaking Sow. She look a like a man…just reading a Judge! By the Way going Gay, these people have given up Religion, why is Marriage a topic for them? Its a Sanction between God and the Couple involved, Marriage, you can do anything in bed within reason…The priest said Honor!

    May 7, 2015 at 6:07 pm
  • Barbara Reply

    Does the word Pathetic mean anything at all to you people! What are you people or People! I know that the Province has also made sure that Religion is Banned from schools, if they banned religion, why do they want to teach our children, what being or choosing Sexual Partners is all about. Sex in Schools, I learned how to put a Condom on a Banana, and about STD’s. I still let the Male do the work…and still wear a Condom…are they encouraging or discouraging this lifestyle choice?

    May 7, 2015 at 7:34 pm
  • Barbara Reply

    There is Hope for you, not here, but somewhere! Pathetic. See yah! and then he died!

    May 7, 2015 at 7:36 pm
  • Barbara Reply

    There is Hope for you, not here, but somewhere! Pathetic. See yah! and then he died! It would be because Judges who are not willing to read the Affidavits should not be sitting on a Bench! Judges need to read between the lines, not listen to take sides or make judgements based on personal feeling or likes. What is a feeling. I do not know I forgot!

    May 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm
  • nicole lalonde Reply

    Sandra ….I could not agree with you more; before we appeared in Small Claims Court, on a house and building code violations, we researched 12 hours a day for close to 3 years , reading all relevant court cases and precedents. The deputy judges simply passed over most of what we brought forth at the cost of worries, relentless research and strain ….and simply gave credence to the represented parties , Tarion and their big lawyer firms and the builder with the same. It is not a system that will ensure justice … is a close knit communities of biased adjudicators and counsel …they are allowed to neglect the very rules by which they claim to exist ….Vexatious and the threat of costs are two items most often on their ” fear – casting ” agenda…..

    June 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm
  • sandra olson Reply

    I know,,, and they are now trying to pretend we just don’t : understand,,,, their rules,.. we understand a rule as it is written, and we are capable of finding applications of this rule,. what nobody understands is when the judicial system disregards all of this and does whatever it wants. and we, the public are now supposed to say,, gee, it must be us,,, we just don’t understand something so complicated,. we understand just fine.

    June 5, 2015 at 4:49 am
  • nicole lalonde Reply

    you certainly know what we are talking about Sandra ; I used to say to my partner who does the research ” you are missing something , our evidence does not cut it …there must be an overruling rule somewhere that you have not tapped ” and even when we asked why the evidence was not being even taken into account or weighed ….we were told WE DO NOT GIVE ADVICE …and you certainly are giving them more credit than I ….I really think they are not intending to make us think we do not understand , I think they know we do and are simply unlawful because being in an authority position , they can be. It was only when we met up with a group of other ” ill done by ” consumers that we realized we were all being taken ….. AND YES WE UNDERSTAND JUST FINE ….but the bitter taste will always be there …

    June 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm
  • sandra olson Reply

    reply to Nicole. I know, sad isn’t it,, and now that we are actually acknowledging this problem the judicial system is simply trying to claim “we just don’t understand them”, bull++++! and until the system of refusing to hold these clowns accountable for their behavior is changed. it seems this arrogance will continue. without consequence, these bullies see no reason to stop their abuse of the public and their desicration of the law. so, to the people running this page, as you can see, the problem is the system and the judges in it, the lawyers who refuse to disclose evidence, who disregard the disclosure rules, and judges who disregard all of this as inconsequenshel. we, the people who are being run over by this, are really pissed. and not likely to disregard this like you. we want accountability. and have the right to expect it. and the passage of time,, just does not mean that this has not happened and has not left that really bad taste that WILL NOT GO AWAY.

    June 8, 2015 at 3:57 pm
  • sandra olson Reply

    AS I SEE IT NICOLE we have a few choices. clearly these people are not going to start following their own rules voluntarily. they have no such honesty. we should get together, list our cases, and the actual behavior of the opposing council. and the judges and the court staff who helped them, you know,,, losing the file etc etc. and sue. sue for all of the reasons we have said. they claim to be unaccountable. no one is. if we do not sue, the only other options we have is full scale revolution. as the French did. you cannot make people act properly. and clearly the judges, and all parties involved in this debauchery are not going to give a rats you know what about the damages they are doing to us, the public. politicians do not care at all and will not get involved. we are on our own. as usual. what are your thoughts.

    June 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm
  • sandra olson Reply

    here is a thought. if the court follows their rules,,, which they don’t and the decision is NOT JUST . they are now not a justice system. after all, who makes these rules they do. and they change them or the definition of them, as they please. and it seems they largely try to make decisions to support themselves, or other government or judicial bodies. .. they lie, change the rules as they see fit, and no justice is acquired, we, the public, who are being screwed, just suck it up,. and the financial costs associated, this is wrong. justice should not come with the pocket book dept. it is a human right, and if the courts corrupt themselves and justice is not done,,, why the hell would we the public care about your claims you were following {the rules} perhaps you could stop talking to everyone about how you are “following the rules: and we just don’t know them. this is convenient, but not going to get you far. the public expects justice, and we shouldn’t have to bankrupt ourselves to get it. and we are not getting it., with or without money. that makes it your problem. because it seems the justice system has no relation to justice. now is your chance to change this,.. take it,.. before your options are a lot less.

    June 13, 2015 at 4:37 am
  • Trish L Reply

    Hi ladies,
    I’ve been reading some of these comments and this doesn’t seem to be helping ease my nerves as I have to represent myself against my ex’s lawyer. Do I have a chance in my trial that the judge will rule in my favour if I don’t have my own counsel? Can anyone help me out with positive tips or links to be able to represent myself. I am scared poopless and I have never been so stressed out in my life!!
    Anything that anybody can send me will be greatly appreciated 🙂

    August 27, 2015 at 1:46 am
    • sandra olson Reply

      First of all when is your trial date? I represented myself in the Family Courts of Quebec and failed….gave up AFTER 10 YEARS… And lost EVERYTHING while my ex is making nearly $600.000,00 (Marc Shank) a year and I have three children with him! I ended up with $250.00 a month in child support!! My salary ranged from $20 to $45.000.00 a year during the duration of the legal battle! Naturally the judges know nothing about your situation and you are only a number and your ex’s lawyer is going to keep everything that favours you out of the court! So if you are not fully prepared you will fry (sorry for the reality)!!! The mistakes people (Mostly Women) make in the courts is expecting judges to be sympathetic and knowledgeable and they are not! Its really hard finding a good lawyer as they are all connected, corrupt and colleagues at the end of the day! Appeal to Julia McPharlen for advice in your matter she is the director of this website and may have some resource to offer you! I will be praying for you!

      October 14, 2015 at 3:35 am
      • sandra olson Reply

        I just want to clarify . this last comment is my sister, tracey. she has not yet signed on separately. but her experience is exactly the same.

        October 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm
  • Sylph Reply

    I see a lot of fussing here about how corrupt the court system is, and I agree, but I would rather concentrate on what I CAN do to get custody of my child back, when it was stolen from me on the basis of fraud. Do people offer one another support, or is the agenda here just agreeing endlessly on how fucked the system is? I want to hear from someone who has SUCCEEDED in winning a case as a pro se litigant. My child is suffering, and has been begging me to rescue her from her dad for over a year now, since he wrongfully had me arrested, and had her seized from me in the US. I have to dispute a hostile and inept report by the Office of the Children’s Lawyer in a week’s time, and I don’t know the proper procedure, and cannot seem to find it online. Who has done this before? Who can help me???

    February 23, 2018 at 1:48 am

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