Father faces jail time for failing to pay child support
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.