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  1. #1

    Default Opposing Attorney Lied to Judge

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: NJ

    I represented myself pro se last year in filing a motion for modification of child support paid to my ex spouse. At that time, I did not submit sufficient evidence with my motion to prove change in circumstance (significantly increased income due to new job). I did bring the evidence to Court with me, and although the Judge would not allow it to be formally submitted, he did (apparently in an attempt to get the matter resolved expeditiously) directly question my ex spouse's attorney as to whether they were claiming that there had been no change of circumstance.

    Ex spouse's attorney told the judge that there had been no change in circumstance other than MY income increasing slightly since the original order. Judge subsequently denied my motion for discovery/modification.

    I have now filed a new motion for discovery/reconsideration, with sufficient documentation to demonstrate prima facie. The judge has ruled that there has been two obvious upward job changes on the part of my ex spouse, likely to have resulted in significantly greater income, and has ordered both of us to submit financial documentation for modification of support.

    Now that I have this affirmation by the judge in the new order, that there was a change in circumstances on the part of my ex spouse (in addition to the upward job changes, there was also disposal of the former marital home, resulting in significantly lower housing cost for my ex spouse), AND I have the transcript of the prior motion hearing where my ex spouse's attorney lied to the judge in claiming no change of circumstances, does this allow me to pursue contempt charges and/or other sanctions against my ex spouse and counsel?

    I ask this because my ex spouse and counsel have filed an additional motion against me (I believe in retaliation for my new motion for support modification), where they have made several additional false and misleading statements to imply that I have not paid past support judgments. I would like to use the prior transcript and the order to prove bad faith and attempts to deceive the Court.

    Can I do this?
    Is an attorney considered to be under oath when making statements to the Court, just as I am? I was asked by the Court to swear in prior to my oral argument, but opposing counsel was not. I assume that counsel is held to the same standards of truthful testimony as I am - am I wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    561

    Default Re: Opposing Attorney Lied to Judge

    If you are pro se just stick to the issues in your dispute and drop any notions of having the attorney sanctioned. It aint gonna happen.

    The attorney can say he based his statements on information that he got from his client, or that he misunderstood what she said, and that will be the end of that. Your ex did not personally testify to that under oath, so she is off the hook on that. You could have presumably called her to testify, since you also had to testify, instead of relying on her lawyers statements. Your failure to do so waived your right to complain of that.

    Beyond that if they are making any allegations which are misleading or false, be prepared to have evidence to rebut those statements.

    You will do far better acting as professional as you can and sticking to the main issue of support, without making complaints about bad faith and deceiving the court.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Opposing Attorney Lied to Judge

    Thank you for your response.

    I do have evidence proving the attorney's statements to the Judge were false, as well as a subsequent Order from the Court affirming my claims of change in circumstance, which were denied by the attorney.

    I will seek to keep this out of my support proceedings to the extent that that is possible, and instead pursue a grievance against the attorney with the state bar association.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    561

    Default Re: Opposing Attorney Lied to Judge

    A complaint to the Bar about what an attorney said in court in this instance will be a complete waste of your time, and will illicit little more than a chuckle from the attorney. You had an opportunity to address this issue using rules of procedure "at the time the issue occurred" in court. Having failed to do so, you waived any right to complain further, in court or with the state bar.

    But have at it...

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