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  1. #1
    GoBlue is offline Junior Member
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    Can atty's simply refuse to enter judges order?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    In May 09, my ex and his attorney were told by the judge that my ex was to pay me child/spousal support plus arrears. The judge then told his attorney to "enter the order" with the court. Afterward, my ex did not pay his attorney, his attorney has simply blown it off and 6 months later nothing has been done. Is that how it works?

    Background: We are divorced 2 years. My divorce is Non-modifiable and I get a certain amount each month a combination of child/spousal support. The divorce states that as each of my kids get older and fall off child support, my spousal support is to increase to make up the difference. Shortly after divorce my oldest turned 18 and the FOC lowered the monthly amount my ex was to pay, but no change was made to spousal support. I was told by the FOC that I had to file a motion to get the amount corrected.

    6 months ago I filed my motion, with no attorney, and asked the court to correct the monthly support amount. My ex then replied with several trivial motions of his own including claiming poverty and asking to modify the support agreement. Because he had an attorney, I was scared, so I borrowed money from family to get my own attorney.

    I paid my atty $2500 and he came to court to represent me. The judge told my ex and his attorney that he absolutely was required to pay the entire monthly amount plus the arrears owed. Because he wanted the divorce as NON-MODIFIABLE, that is exactly what it is. After arguing a few of his other motions, visitation time, and couple of others, the judge finished by asking: "who is going to enter the order?". I told the judge I could not afford to pay any more for an attorney so the judge told my ex's attorney to "enter the order".

    Now, here is the hard part. Shortly after, my ex's attorney did send over an order for me to review and sign. But, they twisted what was said in court, and left out important details. I told my atty that the order was incorrect and he said he would get the transcript and follow up with the other atty. My ex stopped paying the other attorney, so his attorney would not even talk to my attorney, nor would he do what the judge had instructed him to do.

    Weeks went by and nothing happened. 2 months went by and nothing happened. My attorney then told me that for $1500, he would get to the bottom of it. And, nothing happened.

    I finally got something in the mail that said that my motion had been closed.

    My question is: Is that how it works? My attorney charges my $4000 for a simple motion, my ex stops paying his attorney and nothing gets done? I am EXTREMELY upset.

    I now plan to file my original motion on my own again and get before the judge and ask that the judge enforce the court order.

    Do I have any recourse against my loser of an attorney who did nothing? Why didn't he take charge from the beginning and see that I get what the judge ordered? The judge flat out told my ex he had to pay the proper amount, but he and his attorney, and my attorney simply did nothing and now I get nothing.

    Now, he tells me that for $2000 more money, he will get to the bottom of it, but that is what he said 4 months ago.

    What do I do?

    Don't flame me, just help me please.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBlue View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan

    In May 09, my ex and his attorney were told by the judge that my ex was to pay me child/spousal support plus arrears. The judge then told his attorney to "enter the order" with the court. Afterward, my ex did not pay his attorney, his attorney has simply blown it off and 6 months later nothing has been done. Is that how it works?

    Background: We are divorced 2 years. My divorce is Non-modifiable and I get a certain amount each month a combination of child/spousal support. The divorce states that as each of my kids get older and fall off child support, my spousal support is to increase to make up the difference. Shortly after divorce my oldest turned 18 and the FOC lowered the monthly amount my ex was to pay, but no change was made to spousal support. I was told by the FOC that I had to file a motion to get the amount corrected.

    6 months ago I filed my motion, with no attorney, and asked the court to correct the monthly support amount. My ex then replied with several trivial motions of his own including claiming poverty and asking to modify the support agreement. Because he had an attorney, I was scared, so I borrowed money from family to get my own attorney.

    I paid my atty $2500 and he came to court to represent me. The judge told my ex and his attorney that he absolutely was required to pay the entire monthly amount plus the arrears owed. Because he wanted the divorce as NON-MODIFIABLE, that is exactly what it is. After arguing a few of his other motions, visitation time, and couple of others, the judge finished by asking: "who is going to enter the order?". I told the judge I could not afford to pay any more for an attorney so the judge told my ex's attorney to "enter the order".

    Now, here is the hard part. Shortly after, my ex's attorney did send over an order for me to review and sign. But, they twisted what was said in court, and left out important details. I told my atty that the order was incorrect and he said he would get the transcript and follow up with the other atty. My ex stopped paying the other attorney, so his attorney would not even talk to my attorney, nor would he do what the judge had instructed him to do.

    Weeks went by and nothing happened. 2 months went by and nothing happened. My attorney then told me that for $1500, he would get to the bottom of it. And, nothing happened.

    I finally got something in the mail that said that my motion had been closed.

    My question is: Is that how it works? My attorney charges my $4000 for a simple motion, my ex stops paying his attorney and nothing gets done? I am EXTREMELY upset.

    I now plan to file my original motion on my own again and get before the judge and ask that the judge enforce the court order.

    Do I have any recourse against my loser of an attorney who did nothing? Why didn't he take charge from the beginning and see that I get what the judge ordered? The judge flat out told my ex he had to pay the proper amount, but he and his attorney, and my attorney simply did nothing and now I get nothing.

    Now, he tells me that for $2000 more money, he will get to the bottom of it, but that is what he said 4 months ago.

    What do I do?

    Don't flame me, just help me please.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Your attorney did a job. Just because you dont like the outcome is NOT your attorney's fault. You are aware that transcripts cost money, correct? They can be $2 to $4 a page -- a page equals approximately one minute of speaking. So therefore that can easily be several hundred dollars. And yet you want him to work for nothing. You either handle this pro se or pay your attorney to do it.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  3. #3
    GoBlue is offline Junior Member
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    "Your attorney did a job. Just because you dont like the outcome is NOT your attorney's fault. You are aware that transcripts cost money, correct? They can be $2 to $4 a page -- a page equals approximately one minute of speaking. So therefore that can easily be several hundred dollars. And yet you want him to work for nothing. You either handle this pro se or pay your attorney to do it."

    I paid him $4000 for a 30 minute court appearance and we talked about 15 minutes prior by phone. Not sure which pages you speak of since the transcript is a video. Maybe they charge by the frame? I am not sure cause I am not an attorney, but you seem to know more about that. The judge ruled and told his attorney to "enter the order", when his attorney did nothing, my attorney should have done SOMETHING. I gave him an additional $1500 and he still did nothing. We were in front of the judge for about 15 minutes so I would think $1500 is enough to review 15 minutes worth of tape and draw up an order for the court. Lemme see, $4 per page x 15 mins may equal $1500 but I can't find my calculator, so you may be right.

    We are only talking about a shortage of $300 a month so now I am in for about 2 years worth. Does it stop or do I just keep paying him to do nothing?
    Last edited by GoBlue; 10-28-2009 at 06:16 PM.
  4. #4
    Ronin is offline Member
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    You were given good advice.

    The way this works in your case is the other attorney prepared the order. However, it is not uncommon for attorneys in these types of cases to stretch the wording of the order to favor their client.

    The attorney writing the order sends a copy for review as done in your case. It may go back and forth for corrections a couple of times until both attorneys are satisfied. If there is any dispute, a draft of the final order is taken to the judge to review and make any corrections before signing it. The order is then final.

    The problem with disputed orders is that you need to have a copy of the transcripts so that you can argue why you are right. As OG noted, it can cost several hundred dollars to order such a transcript. But this is often done as a matter of course if there is any indication at all the orders may be disputed.

    If your ex's attorney left the case, your attorney could have prepared his own proposed order and filed a motion to sign orders. This would increase your cost considerably, but would have gotten the job done.

    Where you stand now is you either contact your attorney and arrange to have him prepare and file the orders for you, or do this yourself as a pro se.

    Your suggestion that you file an original motion to have the court enforce the order will get you nowhere. There is no order until the judge has signed one, and it is not very likely judge will prepare an order for you.
  5. #5
    GoBlue is offline Junior Member
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    "Your suggestion that you file an original motion to have the court enforce the order will get you nowhere. There is no order until the judge has signed one, and it is not very likely judge will prepare an order for you."

    Perhaps I wrote incorrectly, I meant I will file a new motion asking for the correct support amount, which is what I wanted in the beginning. When the judge agrees in my favor, which she did originally, I plan to ask the court to follow through and do whatever it takes. I watch in court all the time and one party is told what to do and they call the next case. The judge does not ask the parties to "draw up an order". Are you saying that if I represent myself, my ex can simply hire and then fire his attorney and again ignore what the judge tells him? Somehow I am missing something. I was with a friend in court, he argued his case regarding child support that he was entitled do, her attorney argued back, the judge told his ex she had to pay, the judge wrote down some notes, and that was it. There was no banter back and forth regarding any order, it was just done right there and then.

    I find it hard to believe that a judge can tell someone something, and then simply because he fires his attorney, the judges order in court can be ignored. I was not aware that things were done this way. I have heard of the "Chewbacca" defense but not the "fire your lawyer" defense.

    So you are saying that we argue our point in court, we negotiate, and the judge makes a ruling, then we need to re-negotiate between the lawyers as to what the judge said?

    Is anyone getting my point here? If I get arrested for drunk driving, can I stand in court, then fire my attorney and ignore what the judge orders me to do?

    "Where you stand now is you either contact your attorney and arrange to have him prepare and file the orders for you, or do this yourself as a pro se."

    Isn't that what I paid him $4000 and another $1500 for? He told me before I gave him the $1500 that my ex's attorney would not talk to him because he had not been paid. So, for $1500 he would follow through with the order, yet did nothing. There was nothing to negotiate because the other attorney is AWOL. Now, for $2000 more he SAYS he will follow through. My entire divorce only cost $6000 and it took 6 months and we did not agree on anything. My original divorce attorney would not help me because my ex makes his head spin.
    Last edited by GoBlue; 10-28-2009 at 08:16 PM.
  6. #6
    Ronin is offline Member
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    So you are saying that we argue our point in court, we negotiate, and the judge makes a ruling, then we need to re-negotiate between the lawyers as to what the judge said?
    [LIST=1][*]The judge makes a ruling at a hearing.
    [*]A proposed order is then prepared (by either or both sides) that reflects the judges rulings based upon the transcripts of the hearing.
    [*]A motion is then filed for a hearing to sign the orders and a copy of the order attached to the motion.
    [*]If both parties agree to the proposed order, the judge will then sign it.
    [*]If any of the parties objects to the wording of the proposed order, the judge will review it, make any on the spot corrections if needed, and then sign it.
    [*]The Court Order is then filed in the court. This document is what ultimately establishes any legal rights and the ability to enforce the judgment, not what is in the transcipts of a court hearing.[/LIST]
    If you have a difference of opinion on how this works (or should work), then review your states rules of civil procedure. Your friend in court arguing child support was most likely arguing based upon an existing order or agreement for support he was already entitled to, rather than a modification of support, and the court was only enforcing that.

    There is a lot of work done by attorneys outside the courtroom that does not require the judge to remind them during hearings on what needs to be done.

    The court will often require the party filing the initial court action to prepare the final order. But ultimately each side has to protect their own interests. If the one assigned to prepare an order fails to do it for whatever reason, the other side should then do this, or at least file a motion to compel the other side to get this done. But a motion to compel in this case is usually only effective if the side to be compelled has an attorney representing them.

    So you still end up either getting your attorney to prepare the order, or doing it yourself.

    It's unfortunate you are getting an expensive runaround...

    My original divorce attorney would not help me because my ex makes his head spin.
    I would not mess with someone who can make his head, or mine, spin
    Last edited by Ronin; 10-28-2009 at 09:45 PM.
  7. #7
    GoBlue is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    [LIST=1][*]The judge makes a ruling at a hearing.
    [*]A proposed order is then prepared (by either or both sides) that reflects the judges rulings based upon the transcripts of the hearing.
    [*]A motion is then filed for a hearing to sign the orders and a copy of the order attached to the motion.
    [*]If both parties agree to the proposed order, the judge will then sign it.
    [*]If any of the parties objects to the wording of the proposed order, the judge will review it, make any on the spot corrections if needed, and then sign it.
    [*]The Court Order is then filed in the court. This document is what ultimately establishes any legal rights and the ability to enforce the judgment, not what is in the transcipts of a court hearing.[/LIST]
    If you have a difference of opinion on how this works (or should work), then review your states rules of civil procedure. Your friend in court arguing child support was most likely arguing based upon an existing order or agreement for support he was already entitled to, rather than a modification of support, and the court was only enforcing that.

    There is a lot of work done by attorneys outside the courtroom that does not require the judge to remind them during hearings on what needs to be done.

    The court will often require the party filing the initial court action to prepare the final order. But ultimately each side has to protect their own interests. If the one assigned to prepare an order fails to do it for whatever reason, the other side should then do this, or at least file a motion to compel the other side to get this done. But a motion to compel in this case is usually only effective if the side to be compelled has an attorney representing them.

    So you still end up either getting your attorney to prepare the order, or doing it yourself.

    It's unfortunate you are getting an expensive runaround...

    I would not mess with someone who can make his head, or mine, spin
    Thanks for the very informative reply vs just telling me to jam it for being a dummy.

    My friend in court had actually filed for a modification of support in that no support had originally been ordered in his divorce. After a few years of caring for his kids full time, he filed a motion with the court asking for support. He went to court, with no attorney, and his ex's attorney argued that the original divorce agreement was for no support. The judge told her too bad, then she argued about the arrears in that it was 12 months since he had filed the motion and she was in arrears for about 5k, to which the judge told her too bad. The judge calculated the amount of monthly support, the amount of the arrears, and told the other attorney and his ex how much his ex had to pay monthly, and that was the end of it. After that the FOC took over and there was no further action needed by my friend.

    Also, what happens if neither side has an attorney? Who writes up the judges order then?
    Last edited by GoBlue; 10-28-2009 at 11:02 PM.
  8. #8
    Ronin is offline Member
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    what happens if neither side has an attorney? Who writes up the judges order then?
    If both sides are pro se, it is up to one or both to prepare a proposed order in the proper format and submit it to the court along with a properly filed motion, and request a hearing to sign the order. You may need to take a copy of the transcript where the judge made the rulings to the hearing.

    If it's a simple order that is uncontested, it is normally not a problem to get it signed, filed, and done with. If it's disputed, it gets more complicated, and it's probably best to have an attorney handle it.

    The judge will not do this work for you. If you cannot do this yourself or get the assistance of legal aid to help, it won't get done.
  9. #9
    GoBlue is offline Junior Member
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    Nevermind.

    I met with my attorney today and I am confident that he did what he could, but my ex and his attorney would not cooperate, and that is why he burned up $5500 in fees. Our only choice is to file a motion with the judge, using the transcript, and ask that the order be entered based on the transcript.

    Unfortunately, he needs another $2k of which I don't have.

    I now have to file a motion on my own, to get the judge to enter the order based on the transcript, and see where that gets me.

    Oh well.
  10. #10
    Ronin is offline Member
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    Just understand that the judge will not do this for you. You must show up prepared with the proposed order to be signed.

    If you are doing this on your own, then start with the copy of the proposed order the other attorney already sent to you. Use this as a template to make a new proposed order which is consistent with the transcripts of what the judge ruled. You can also dig through copies of your attorneys prior motions and use these as a template for your 'motion to sign orders' to get the right format and case info and notice of service information.

    Prepare a motion to sign the orders, attach a copy of the order to the motion, file it with the court, get a couple of extra copies file stamped, and request a hearing date from the clerk or the judges court coordinator. Then serve a copy to your ex that includes the hearing date. It’s safer to also send a copy to his attorney if you are unsure if he has officially withdrawn from the case.

    Show up for the hearing with a copy of the order and the trancripts in hand, so if there are any disputes, the judge will have the facts ready to review. While the above information may not be 100% accurate for your given court, it's in the ballpark, such that if any issues arise they should be manageable. There may be local legal resources or help available that the clerk of the court may be able to point you to.
    Last edited by Ronin; 10-29-2009 at 06:28 PM.

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