Pro se father, plaintiff, versed on legal procedure. Have already been pro se in 4 day 2010 custody trial and was successful. Now have June 16 trial coming on child support, college tuition, and a contempt on mother in that she has refused to pay $500 court sanction for 6 months. Mother has 100% refused to respond to my discovery. She is on trust, does not work, owns a $800k home in Needham. I filed motion to compel with sanctions which was heard yesterday. I don't know the exact decision by judge but it was clear Mother refuses to co-operate or follow any legal procedures thus far. She has had 4 lawyers since Oct. 2015. 3 have removed themselves the last was LAR for one day. All delay tactics. With no real discovery I am at a loss to win my case.
Unfortunately there is not enough information here for a lawyer to provide you with any guidance. The problem is that the question you ask, while outlining the situation, does not contain the details of the procedural steps thus far, the exact nature of the claims in the case, how long the case has been pending, and so on. If you want a "guess" with the trial a month away, any motion for judgment that you make will delay the outcome far more than the trial. The key will be to make sure that the trial takes place when scheduled and to that you should be concentrating your efforts.
Unlike the regular rules of civil procedure that explicitly allow for a default judgment for failure to obey discovery, the rules of domestic procedure are far more broad. MRDP Rule 37 lays out the possible santions. The rule can be found here: http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/rules-of-court/probate/pfc-dom-relations/dom37.html.
If you already have a motion pending, it probably makes sense to wait to see what the ruling on that motion is. If your ex fails to comply with any court order after this second attempt and refuses to pay the sanctions, a follow-up motion to the court asking for relief would be appropriate.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
You're in Plymouth County. Seeking a delay of trial, because of the calendar pressures that now exist, will put your trial into 2017. Follow Atty. Owen's advice on the discovery rule. You can make a motion to exclude her evidence and/or seek a default judgment based on failure to provide discovery. Whoever your judge is, her non-compliance cannot be going over well.
To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state (in WV, on inactive status as of 9/13), I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.
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