The Canadian Bar Association

Jail sentence over contempt of court rare

Being sent to jail over contempt of court is rare, Toronto family lawyer Audrey Shecter says in Law TimesRead Law Times

But that’s what happened to Robert Ross Picken, who recently spent 20 days of a 30-day sentence in a maximum security jail after a judge found him in contempt of court, the report says, noting Shecter was representing the wife, Brenda Anne Picken.

The contempt ruling arose from Picken’s actions in not preserving funds in relation to the sale of a commercial property, the article says. The Pickens purchased the property in Collingwood, Ont., just months before their marriage of 33 years came to an end, it continues.

“Imprisonment is a rare outcome of contempt,” Shecter, lawyer with Beard Winter LLP, says in Law Times.

In his decision reached in October, Justice Clifford Nelson noted the husband “has done absolutely nothing to purge his contempt by making partial payment,” Law Times reports.

“He was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs,” Shecter says in the article.

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