Tucked away in an unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals this morning was a quote from a trial court’s fascinating invective against some overly litigious former spouses. The lesson? For a sure fire way to get yourself in trouble with any court — trial or appellate — try this simple recipe:
1. Keep the paper companies in business–be sure to file thousands of pages with the court.
2. Make certain that your case involves multiple overlapping hearings and drags on for nearly a decade.
3. Encourage your client to file his or her own papers and motions alongside yours, just to keep the court on its toes.
Without further commentary, please enjoy this gentle prodding from District Court Judge David K. Fox of Henderson County, quoted this morning by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Mooney v. Mooney.
[This court] is moved to initially note that the stacked court files in the matter of Mooney vs. Mooney are now five inches thick; thicker than the Charlotte telephone book. And that does not reflect the files separately kept by the clerk of the Court of Appeals. These Parties have contrived to consume vast amounts of the [c]ourt’s time, unconscionable resources of the beleaguered Henderson County Clerk’s Office, have tied up bailiffs, judges, courtrooms, and have cheerfully squandered thousands of their own money and the State’s treasure “lawing” one the other during the past seven years. Of course, this hearing isn’t the end: other issues than this instant matter have been separately heard in May, 2010 whilst additional disagreements between these contestants are scheduled for venting in court later this month. Considering the Parties have been divorced since 2004, this example of ongoing obduracy makes the efforts of Sisyphus pale by comparison to the labours of the [c]ourt facing calendar after calendar listing “Mooney vs. Mooney”.
Even though represented by competent counsel, Plaintiff is wont to periodically complicate things by preparing and filing her own pleadings and seeking her own hearings concurrent with the progress of other issues, rather like a patient on an operating table rousing to wrest the scalpel from the surgeon and inflicting a few random incisions herself. Indeed, the record would seem to demonstrate one of the Parties is the chief sinner in this never ending, ever renewing domestic struggle, but the dispositive portion of this Order evidences that, in fact, both Parties have indulged in the feckless behaviour which yet again has forced the District Courts of Henderson County to revisit Mooney vs. Mooney, even as a dog returneth to its vomit.
Many thanks to John Bowers of Horack Talley for bringing this gem to our attention.