This case concerned the remedies available when parties, overwhelmingly men, do not follow family court orders.  

LEAF intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada. 

Facts 

Following their divorce, a family court judge ordered Kenneth Dickie to pay Leaka Dickie spousal and child support. He refused to pay, and owed Leaka over $100,000. Another judge then ordered Kenneth Dickie to secure payment of support and costs, which he also refused to do. He was found to be in contempt of court, and served 45 days in jail. He appealed the contempt decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal, which allowed his appeal. Leaka Dickie appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.  

Arguments 

LEAF argued that the decision about the remedies available when men breach family court orders should be made in consideration of sex inequality. When men refuse to comply with family court orders, it can have serious economic consequences for women. As such, men like Kenneth Dickie who willfully disobey family court orders, despite having the means to fulfill them, should be found in contempt of court.  

Outcome 

The Supreme Court allowed Leaka Dickie’s appeal, and restored the finding of contempt. 

LEAF is grateful to Llana Nakonechny and Gillian Calder, counsel in this case, as well as Carole Brown, Ottawa agent for LEAF.

Download the factum here.  

Read the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision here

Our records are imperfect, but we are doing our best to update them – if you were involved with LEAF on this case but your name is not reflected here, please email us at [email protected].