Fa­ther faces jail time for fail­ing to pay child sup­port

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A Syd­ney man who has al­ready had his li­cence and pass­port re­voked be­cause he owes over $34,000 in child sup­port pay­ments, is now fac­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a 90-day jail sen­tence.

Michael Hill was given 45 days in which to pay half of what is owed along with pre­sent­ing a plan to re­pay the re­main­der or risk go­ing to jail.

“A mes­sage must be sent to Mr. Hill and oth­ers who flaunt court or­ders. I am sat­is­fied that Mr. Hill will not take any steps to ad­dress the or­der un­less strongly com­pelled to do so,” said Supreme Court Jus­tice Lee Anne Ma­cLeod-Archer, of the court’s fam­ily divi­sion, in a de­ci­sion re­leased Mon­day.

The judge or­dered the ar­rest war­rant held un­til the case re­turns be­fore her in June.

In 2011, an On­tario court is­sued a child sup­port or­der, for one child, for Hill in the amount of $510 per month.

The or­der was trans­ferred to Nova Sco­tia in 2014. As of the end of March, Hill was in ar­rears to the tune of $34,221.54.

De­spite re­peated op­por­tu­ni­ties by the di­rec­tor of Nova Sco­tia’s main­te­nance en­force­ment pro­gram to com­ply, the judge said Hill has failed to pro­vide any ev­i­dence as to why he hasn’t paid child sup­port.

In her de­ci­sion, Ma­cLeod-Archer out­lined some of the his­tory re­lat­ing to the Hill file.

■ She said the provin­cial di­rec­tor first is­sued a main­te­nance hear­ing no­tice in Fe­bru­ary 2016 and a hear­ing was set for April.

■ Hill ap­peared at the hear­ing but re­quested a two-month ad­journ­ment to seek le­gal coun­sel.

■ A hear­ing was set for May 9 but Hill called in sick.

■ At another hear­ing May 20, Hill ad­vised he didn’t qual­ify for le­gal aid and another hear­ing was set for June 20.

■ Prior to that hear­ing, Hill re­quested another ad­journ­ment to se­cure coun­sel. A hear­ing was set for Dec. 13. Hill showed but again no lawyer.

■ Hill was or­dered to file all re­quired doc­u­ments by the end of De­cem­ber 2016 and to at­tend another hear­ing March 13, 2017.

“He never filed any dis­clo­sure, a re­sponse or a writ­ten vari­a­tion ap­pli­ca­tion,” noted the judge.

While wait­ing for Hill to com­ply with the de­mand for doc­u­ments, the di­rec­tor also took steps to en­force the or­der such as re­vok­ing Hill’s driver’s li­cense and pass­port but to no avail.

“Mr. Hill has failed to pro­vide any ex­pla­na­tion for his de­fault. He has failed to dis­close his fi­nances. He has failed to re­spond to the many en­force­ment ac­tions taken by the di­rec­tor,” said Ma­cLeod-Archer, adding Hill has failed to co­op­er­ate with the di­rec­tor in any way.

In ad­di­tion to the $34,000 in out­stand­ing child sup­port pay­ments, Hill is now also on the hook for $550 or­dered in court costs.

Ma­cLeod-Archer is­sued one fi­nal warn­ing to Hill.

“I will hold the war­rant with­out ex­e­cut­ing it un­til the mat­ter re­turns in June. The war­rant will be re­leased for ex­e­cu­tion and Mr. Hill will be ar­rested and im­pris­oned if he had not com­plied with this or­der,” she said.

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